At this time of year, many parents are considering Halloween costumes and getting ready for Halloween season. While in the past parents were worried about tainted candy, today we realize that dangers at Halloween can come from many sources—including pedestrian accidents and even the costumes themselves.
Whether you’re create a home-made costume or buying one from a store, start with these safety tips:
- Consider trip and fall hazards. Long hems, dangling strings or cords, and even battery packs that hang low can cause children to trip and fall. Trip and fall injuries for children can include facial injuries, fractures, sprains, and other injuries. To prevent this, always buy a properly fitted costume or tailor it so no part of the costume dangles low or wraps around a child’s legs.
- Make your child visible. You can reduce the risk of pedestrian accidents by making your child easy to see. While some parents hand their children a flashlight as part of the costume, this can easily be dropped or left behind. A safer costume is to choose or create a costume with reflective tape or bright colors, which are easy to see after dark.
- Reduce the risk of eye injury. Some “novelty” contact lenses and are inexpensively made and may contain harmful design elements or ingredients. Novelty contact lenses or makeup can cause eye infection and other harm. If your child is wearing makeup, choose regular drugstore makeup or products from respected brands. Avoid novelty contacts entirely. If they’re essential for a costume, visit an optometrist for advice. He or she may be able to help you find “theatrical” lenses from a trusted manufacturer, so eye damage is less of a risk.
- Check for mobility. Have your child try on their costume well before Halloween. Can he or she move easily, including moving all their limbs and taking steps of various sizes? Any top-heavy costumes or outfits that restrict movement need to be altered. They can cause falls and serious injury.
- Make sure your child can see. Masks can move out of place, making it hard for trick-or-treaters to see. Use makeup from a respected brand, instead. Also make sure that any wigs, hats, or other head coverings that are part of the costume don’t cover your child’s eyes or make it hard to see.
- Check for recalls. Each year, some costumes are recalled for flammability, sharp edges, and other design flaws. If you’re buying your costumes, look on the online list of recalls to make sure they haven’t been found unsafe.
- Do an inspection of the costume or materials. If you’re buying a costume, give it a through check. Is the material flammable? Are there any sharp edges? Are there small parts that could be a choking hazard? Even if a costume hasn’t been recalled, check for any unsafe elements. If you’re making your own costume, make sure each part of the outfit is safe. Use materials that are safe and non-flammable.
Who Is Liable for Halloween Injuries?
If your child has been injured around Halloween, there may be multiple liable parties. These parties can include negligent drivers, the manufacturers of faulty Halloween costumes or decorations, and other parties.
To find out who is liable and whether you might have a legal claim, call Flaxman Law Group at 866-352-9626 or contact us online. If your child has been injured, we’d be happy to offer a free, no obligation consultation to discuss your potential claim.