What a fantastic time of year autumn is! The leaves are changing color; the air is fresh and invigorating. Fall sports are in full swing, and the kids are looking forward to dressing up in costumes, attending parties and then, on Halloween night, running from door to door, shouting “Trick or Treat,” in the hopes of receiving treats, not tricks. Sadly, Portland child injury lawyers know Halloween can be a dangerous time for young children, as they dash about on streets that get dark early, blissfully unaware of the potential dangers all around them.
Following a few general rules can go a long way to keeping Halloween safe for your child.
- When selecting a costume for your child, try to pick swords, knives, light sabers, etc., short, soft and flexible.
- Ensure your child doesn’t trick or treat on their own. If you can’t go along yourself, make sure they’re part of a group, or with a trusted adult.
- Use reflective tape on costumes and bags to help drivers see your child in plenty of time.
- If you’re tagging along, carry a flashlight to help you see along dark sidewalks, and to help others see you. Encourage your child to walk, not run, from house to house.
- Portland child injury lawyers strongly recommend examining all the treats your child brings home. Look for choking hazards or any signs of tampering.
- Children’s sensitive skin can be irritated by Halloween make-up. Test a small area first, and then remove all make-up before bedtime.
- Always ask your child to use established crosswalks whenever possible, and of course, to look both ways before crossing any street.
- Decorative contact lenses may add dramatic effect to a costume, but they increase the risk of eye injuries in children. Avoid using them if at all possible.
- If a sidewalk isn’t available, make sure your child stays on the far edge of the road and walks facing oncoming traffic.
- Costumes are so much fun, but by making sure they’re not too long or the footwear too big, and that the mask fits properly, you’ll help avoid the nasty trips and falls that cause so many injuries to Portland children every Halloween.
- It’s a good idea to avoid letting your child eat homemade treats from strangers. Try to limit them to factory wrapped treats.
- Impress on your child the importance of never entering a stranger’s home, unless you or a trusted adult are present.
- Find a costume that is flame resistant. Even then, remind your child to never get too close to candles, torches or luminaries.
I’m having a Halloween party. Any safety suggestions?
What better time to have a party? Halloween gives adults a chance to get into costume and have some fun with friends and neighbors. If you’re holding such a party, there are things you can do to have a safe and fun event.
- Provide healthier treats for the little ones calling to the door, like low-calorie candy and drinks.
- For your party guests, offer up fruits and cheeses, or vegetables and healthy dips.
- If kids are part of the party plans, it’s a great opportunity to help them get their daily hour of physical activity. Use party games to keep them moving.
- Portland child injury lawyers know that children often fall on dark stairs in unfamiliar surroundings, especially when obstacles are present. Ensure walking areas and stairs are well lit and clear of hazards.
- Put your candle-lit pumpkins and luminaries on sturdy tables, away from doorsteps and landings that could be full of children in flapping costumes. Keep the jack-o-lanterns out of reach of small children and away from curtains.
- If possible, ask friends, neighbors and other drivers who may be coming home after dark to be aware there will be extra people about, and to take care.
By following these simple pieces of advice, you increase the chances that you and your child will have a safe and enjoyable Halloween season. Still, accidents can happen, especially at this time of year, and if your child is injured through someone else’s negligence, you might want to consider contacting a reputable and reliable Portland child accident lawyer, who will clearly explain your rights and options.