As I was riding my bike to work this morning, I saw a little girl dart across the street to examine the Ghost made from a sheet hanging from a large oak tree. It was a quick reminder of how dangerous Halloween can be. Halloween is an extraordinarily dangerous time: DUII Drivers are all over the road, mischievous teenage drivers are on the roads, and drivers are distracted by the folks walking around in costume. Mobs of Children are everywhere and are not paying attention to their surroundings. The totality of these circumstances combine make for a very dangerous situation. Many people are aware of the obvious dangers of Halloween, but there are some hidden dangers that parents should be aware of.
Visibility: It is common sense that a child dressed as a Ninja or in Camouflage will be difficult to see. However, every year I see a child dressed in all black without any reflective strips or lights to increase their visibility. This creates the obvious risk of a car injuring your child. It is best to ensure your child is visible by giving them something that glows or lights up to help motorist see them. At a minimum put reflective tape around their ankles and wrist where it is visible to others. Additionally, it is well known that the child should be able to see out of the mask they are wearing, but mask wearing parents need to also remember this. Limiting your visibility can hinder your ability to keep an eye on your little ones as they run from house to house.
Tripping: Kids and parents often find themselves standing on unfamiliar porches littered with small pumpkins and other Halloween decorations. It is important that you pay attention to these tripping hazards, so you and your child can avoid being injured by a fall caused by tripping over these objects. Also, sidewalks covered with leaves can cause a person to fall and be injured. Slow down and watch your step when walking on dark leaf covered sidewalks, and let your kids know they should slow down and watch their step.
The Street: The Street is an obvious danger to most, but many people live on quiet streets that do not have a lot of traffic. Children become complacent and often play in the street or run across the street without being cognizant of the dangers involved. A recent tragic example illustrates the dangers of playing near the street. Two children were seriously injured and killed after being struck by a car as they were playing in leaves piled up in the street adjacent to the sidewalk in front of their house. The Driver for some reason veered into the leaves, ran over the children, and fled the scene. These unthinkable tragedies happen and the only way to prevent them is to do your best to keep the kids out of the street and ensure they are aware that they absolutely cannot be in the street on Halloween night.
Stay Close to Your Little Ones: My son is too young to understand the dangers posed by cars, so it is up to me to look out for his safety. Parents are always doing their best to look out for their children, but sometimes they may let their little ones get too far from them to react to a dangerous situation. This is very true when people are in their own neighborhood, because people often become complacent in their neighborhood. On Halloween, it is always a good idea to keep your little ones extremely close and walk all the way to the door with them. Keep your body between them and the street, so if they do dart out into the street you are in a position to prevent them from going into the street.
Halloween should be a fun time for all, and you should not have to spend the night in the hospital worrying about your little one’s injuries and the tens of thousands of dollars in medical bills. Being aware of the dangers can help you prevent yourself and your little ones from being injured by the negligence of another. I wish you all a safe and Happy Halloween!
If you believe you were injured by the negligence of another call Ross Law LLC and Jeremiah Ross at 503.224.1658 for your freepersonal injury consultation. Please remember this post is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Also, please remember that this post does not create an Attorney client relationship.