Note: This was featured as part of our Wednesday segment on Charleston’s 105.5 The Bridge with Box in the Morning. You can catch us every Wednesday morning at 8:50 am ET for the latest law tips and legal news. You can listen to the segment below:
Halloween is such a fun holiday for the whole family. From decorating the house to dressing up and taking the kids out trick or treating, there is never a dull moment on Halloween night. While Halloween is a fun occasion for the whole family, it also poses certain hazards to kids and homeowners. While finding the perfect costume and decorating the house is important, Halloween safety should be your first priority so that your family can have a fun, incident-free night.
One important thing to think about on Halloween night is road safety, especially in neighborhoods and residential areas. It’s a busy night, and there are certain things drivers should be on the lookout for. First of all, kids. On Halloween night, there are a lot of kids out on the street running around between houses. If a child runs in front of your car, it is not necessarily the fault of the child; there are different expectations for drivers on Halloween night due to the nature of the holiday. It can also be hard to see in the dark, especially when people are wearing dark costumes, so be sure to use your headlights. Just remember to drive, safely, slowly, and to use your lights while keeping an eye out for trick-or-treaters.
For parents taking their kids trick or treating, make sure your kids costumes are safe. This means that the costumes fit properly so that kids aren’t tripping over long costumes or constricted by costumes that are too tight. Masks also need to fit properly so that they do not keep kids from seeing well. With the open flames from jack-o-lanterns and other Halloween decorations, it’s also a good idea to look for flame retardant costumes.
Visibility is another thing to think about when it comes to your kids and their costumes. Whites and other bright colors are much easier to see, but if your child is wearing a dark costume, you may want to consider putting reflectors on the costume to alert drivers. Another great way to improve visibility, both for your family and for others, is to use flashlights while out trick or treating.
On Halloween night, homeowners are essentially inviting children to their premises, so it’s extremely important to make sure your home is a safe environment for children. You could be held liable if a trick-or-treater gets injured on your property. If there is a big hole in your front yard or a loose step that you haven’t gotten around to fixing, now is the time, as it poses a potential hazard to others. At the least, make a sign or have some other distinction to warn people to avoid it.
Decorating your home is one of the fun parts of Halloween, but you need to be sure that any electrical cords or other exposed wires are hidden. Anything that may present a tripping hazard needs to be taken care of.
While you may think it’s fun to have your dog dress up and hand out candy with you, or go out trick or treating with the family, it’s a better idea to keep your dogs inside on Halloween night. There are strange sights and smells, and a lot of action to keep up with that could overwhelm dogs. Even if your dog is very calm and likes kids, you cannot predict if something might startle them. Dogs are also more likely to bite children since they are closer to their eye level, so it’s better to let your pooch hang out inside rather than take any chances.
Safety should be your first priority this Halloween so that your night can be as fun and carefree as possible. The John Price Law Firm wishes everyone a happy, safe Halloween!