Is Little Johnny Dressing As a Ninja Again This Halloween? Better Think Twice!
It's that time of year! We're not talking about the fact that major retailers are gearing up for the Christmas holiday season in late September, with ornaments, tinsel, and fake trees. No, we're talking about the ghoulish All Hallows' Eve (or Halloween as we have come to know it in the U.S.) A time when thoughts turn from seasonal allergies to pumpkins, witches, ghosts, and Trick-or-Treating.
The younger your children are, the more cautious you become, thinking that protection from injury this time of year is reduced to worrying about them cutting themselves during the jack-o-lantern carving, or catching fire as a flouncy costume gets too close to a candle, a broken arm from a candy sugar-high, or worst case scenario, tainted Halloween candy! (Who really has time to taint Halloween candy, anyway?)
But, all kidding aside, when it comes to this holiday, traffic accidents are by far the most common and potentially deadly type of accident threatening children this and every Halloween. Even though, thank goodness, while the numbers of traffic fatalities on Halloween every year nationwide are fortunately small, there are other issues that make this time of year and injuries more prolific.
Halloween means a time to party for many adults and so the risk of inebriated drivers is higher than usual. That, partnered with more children roaming the streets in search of the elusive full-sized Snickers bar, adds up to a higher accident risk. Moreover, children by nature want the costume that is darker and more haunting, making them virtually invisible to evening drivers. It is up to parents to keep close watch on their children's costume choices and, for those leaning toward darker costumes, flashlights and glow sticks should be added to make them visible. It probably wouldn't hurt to brush up on street etiquette too by reminding them to cross at a crosswalk and not to run into the street without checking traffic.
Although it doesn't happen as often as urban legends would have us believe, candy tampering is, and should still be, a concern. Make sure to examine your children's candy and discard any packages that look odd in any way. Many hospitals have a free x-ray service for candy at Halloween that you can use. This is also a good time to pocket the occasional pack of M&Ms while the little Batman isn't looking.
Although lawyers are there for you if you do get injured now, or anytime during the year, a little forethought should help keep you and your children safer this year.
Reference: "Traffic Accidents Remain the Key Issue for Halloween Safety, warns California Law Office"