It’s that time of year again. Crisp mornings, new hues glowing in the woods at sunset, dry and clear blue skies, and enormous displays of candy right inside the doors of grocery stores. Yep, it’s Halloween. And leave it to the lawyers to put a damper on the occasion. We’re not talking about the creepy serial killer featured in the season’s classic horror movies, nor the razor blades hidden in apples (who passes out apples?), or any of the other terrifying treats which are fodder for folklore. We’re referring to some real Halloween-related injuries we deal with every year in the aftermath of Halloween that we need to discuss, many of which can be prevented.
Flammable Halloween Costumes
Every child wants to be in costume, so they are the envy of the roving patrols of candy accumulators. However, a little planning may prevent accidents and a less-than-marvelous time. In the old days, our parents and grandparents bought prepackaged, poorly designed, and cheaply manufactured costumes that were constructed of highly flammable material. Thankfully, (and thanks to lawyers), those are no longer a concern. But still, one can quickly assemble a costume made of a material that is highly flammable. While your youngster isn’t likely sporting a lighter, with the recent cool wave and earlier dusk, there may be fire pits and candles lurking. If you aren’t sure whether the material you are using or applying to the costume, hats, wigs, or props is flammable, try a small sample.
Defective Halloween Costumes
Think about the wear that the costume is going to experience. It may look great stationery but unless you have a gig as a mime, think about how it will hold up. If it falls apart with movement, or slips in such a way as to obstruct vision, mayhem will likely follow. Not being able to see the hazards to avoid or becoming tripped up on that clever get-up may mean a trip to the emergency room instead of home to survey the sugary bounty.
Defective & Dangerous Halloween Decor
Many of the injuries that happen on Halloween are not caused by kids’ antics. It is the adults who, trying to provide a memorably scary time, toss common sense to the wind and engage in some sort of activity that at any other time would be clearly viewed as ill-conceived. Live ammo, uncontrolled drops, pyrotechnics, haphazard construction, and highly flammable material near sparking open flames all seem so fun but when poorly executed are a recipe for disaster and injury.
Celebrating Under the Influence
Another serious adult-driven issue with Halloween, believe it or not, is drinking and driving. Some of the guilty parties are the grown-ups going to costume parties. No one looks good in a mugshot, especially with runny, faded, costume makeup. Others are those shepherding the little ones around who self-medicate to endure the sugar-amped minions and the soon-to-follow sugar-dropped ill-tempers and exhaustion. Either way, you don’t want to be that person who causes harm to yourself or the increased number of children who will be running into the road, innocently walking alongside it, or traveling as passengers in other cars.