Halloween is one of the most dangerous holidays of the year for small children, often leading to a trip to the emergency room. Not only are children at risk of a pedestrian accident in Pembroke Pines, but children can also sustain a burn injury from a flammable costume in Weston or a hand, eye or face injury from a defective costume accessory in Fort Pierce.
Our Margate child injury and accident lawyers want to remind parents, guardians and caregivers to talk to children about the dangers of Halloween before they head out this Monday to trick-or-treat.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention looked at child pedestrian accidents on Halloween from 1975-1996. Researchers found that children between the ages of 5 and 14 were four times more likely to be hit by a motorist on Halloween from 4 to 10 p.m. than any other day of the year. From 1975-1996, there were a total of 89 child pedestrian deaths in this age group, averaging about four deaths each Halloween.
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons found in a nine-year study looking at holiday-related child visits to the emergency room that Halloween was among the top three for child injuries needing medical attention. From 1997 to 2006, 17.6 percent of injuries on Halloween were to a child’s finger or hand. Of the injuries to this area on the body, over 30 percent were lacerations and roughly 20 percent were fractures. Of the children visiting a medical center or emergency room, over 30 percent were between the ages of 10 and 14.
Florida Highway Patrol offers these trick-or-treat tips for a safer Halloween:
-Expect a lot of foot traffic, even on the days preceding Halloween.
-Slow your speed, especially on streets with parked cars or in neighborhoods where lit porch lights are an indicator that trick-or-treaters are around.
-Children may be walking on roadways with no sidewalks or crosswalks, so be alert at all times.
-Dress children in bright costumes. Make sure dark costumes and treat bags have reflective tape on them.
-Encourage children to wear face paint rather than a mask. If a mask has to be worn with the costume, ensure that vision and hearing are not impaired in any way.
-Don’t allow children to wear costumes or footwear that are too long or big for them. Tripping can cause a severe puncture wound or broken bone from a fall accident.
-Be alert for “stranger danger” on Halloween night. Make children aware not to talk to strangers or take short cuts that stray away from a group, parent or guardian.
Other important Halloween safety tips:
-Keep sharp costume accessories or pumpkin carving tools away from small children at all times.
-Only use costumes that are flame-resistant or flame-retardant.
-Instruct children to accept candy only in sealed wrappers. Inspect all candy before it is consumed.
-Keep small children away from candle flames or lit jack-o-lanterns.
Ensure your child has a safe Halloween by setting ground rules and reviewing important safety concerns. Making children aware of the dangers is the first step in reducing the risk of injury to them and others.
Contact Freeman, Mallard, Sharp & Gonzalez, LLC if your child has been injured in a car accident or sustained a Halloween-related injury in Hollywood, Port St. Lucie, Tamarac, Delray Beach or surrounding areas. For a free consultation with an experienced injury lawyer, call 1-800-561-7777 today.
More Blog Entries:
Chuggington and the NHTSA Team up to Help Prevent Child Injury in Vero Beach and Elsewhere, South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog, October 8, 2011.
Poor Visibility a Common Factor in Pedestrian or Bicycle Accidents in Margate, Port St. Lucie, Elsewhere, South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog, September 27, 2011.