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Make your Halloween full of treats...not tricks
- AuthorSymron Amani
It’s this time of year our children get excited about the prospect of dressing up in scary costumes, decorating the house with cobwebs and skeletons and heading out trick or treating. For parents it can be a scary night for a whole other reason as they worry about the safety of their children and others around them. Each year thousands of people are injured over the Halloween period and here Symron Amani, a Claims Handler in our Personal Injury team, highlight some of the measures you can take to ensure a safe Halloween for you and your loved ones.
“According to Safe Kids Worldwide, twice as many child pedestrians are killed on Halloween compared to other nights of the year,” begins Symron. “Only 18% of parents use reflective tape on their child’s costumes, which is staggering when you consider that most people will trick or treat in the dark, the children will be excited so running from house to house, possibly even crossing the street regularly to go to other houses. Using reflective tape and also supplying children with a torch so they can see and be seen can make all the difference.”
It’s not only down to pedestrians to be aware. “Drivers over Halloween must also be on heightened alert,” continues Symron. “They must make sure they are careful when entering and exiting driveways, to drive slower than they normally may do, and be aware on cul-de-sacs or other shortcuts that trick or treaters may also be using.”
Burns and scalds
A person may suffer a burn or scald over Halloween from their costume coming into contact with any decorations that may be around the home. “We all heard last year about Claudia Winkleman’s eight year old daughter who suffered horrific burns when her witch’s costume caught fire from a candle in their home,” explains Symron. “Candles and pumpkins or jack-o-lanterns with lit candles must be supervised and no children to be in their vicinity. Other decorations such as dangling spider webs must be hung away from any open flame to avoid danger.”
Chemical burns are also something parents should take into consideration. “Last year there was a case in which a mother bought fake blood online and ended up with chemical burns after it was discovered the product had been untested,” explains Symron. “The product reacted with her skin and she suffered severe injuries to her face. She went on to secure £1,987 in compensation.”
Trips and slips are another concern when it comes to a child’s costume. “Make sure that your child’s costume fits properly,” begins the team. “If a costume is too long, the child can easily trip over the bottom of it, and if masks are too big they can hinder visibility. As with the fake blood, parents should consider what the costumes themselves are made of, and ask whether the materials may react with your child’s skin.”
Safety in numbers
“We’ve all heard the expression ‘safety in numbers’ and Halloween is a time when this is particularly pertinent,” continues Symron. “Being in a group with adult supervision means you can then all keep an eye on each other, maybe even assign a buddy system. If an accident does happen, having an adult present will mean it can be dealt with as quickly as possible.”
While pets may not be part of your trick or treating group, how they react to their surroundings could play a part in keeping safe. “Ask yourself whether your pets get scared by loud noises or big crowds,” explains Symron. “If so, keep them indoors where they are in familiar surroundings and cannot harm anyone.”
Symron concludes, “Accidents can happen at any time, but Halloween is a time when accidents are more likely due so it’s important to try and prevent them as much as we can.”
This is for information purposes only and is no substitute for, and should not be interpreted as, legal advice. All content was correct at the time of publishing and we cannot be held responsible for any changes that may invalidate this article.