As the time rapidly approaches for ghosties, ghoulies, beasties, and things that go bump in the night to appear in droves, it’s a good idea to brush up on some Halloween safety tips.
While Halloween can be a fun night for families and their kids, it also poses some potential dangers that could lead to real injuries. At Russell & Lazarus APC, we care about the safety of our clients. Read on for some simple Halloween safety tips to keep you and your family injury-free this year.
You can have fun and still be smart. Keep your eyes open and your vision sharp, don’t drink alcohol, and maintain your situational awareness. If you’re escorting little kids for trick or treating, be especially vigilant. And don’t let them pull any tricks, which might potentially cause accidents.
One of the most important Halloween safety tips to keep in mind is that you should always carry a flashlight. Not all residential streets have streetlights, and even those that do may have only a few. For example, a short cul-de-sac may have only one. As a result, it can get very dark this late in the year, especially if the moon hasn’t shown yet. The flashlight not only keeps your group easily visible to others, it helps you avoid running into things, or slipping and falling. Sometimes vandals think it’s funny to smash pumpkins, which have slippery innards. So keep a sharp eye on the grass, concrete, and pavement. Also keep an eye out for broken glass.
The bright reflective flash that occurs when a flashlight or headlight illuminates a strip of glow tape is hard to miss. This adds an extra measure of protection and isn’t that expensive.
We all know Halloween is often used as an excuse for adults to party. If you’ve had anything to drink, if only a beer or two over several hours, avoid driving altogether. Even if you don’t hurt yourself or others, police officers are sure to be extra-vigilant on nights when kids are out and about. They won’t hesitate to charge you with a DWI and/or Refusal to Comply with a request for a blood alcohol test if they suspect or know you’re inebriated. The penalties can be harsh in California. And that doesn’t even account for potential lawsuits that may result from anyone you hurt while drinking and driving.
Don’t even drink and walk if you can help it. If you can barely stand, then you shouldn’t be trying to walk. You could end up falling and injuring yourself or someone else.
Although it’s illegal to buy fireworks during the Halloween season, some people buy extra fireworks during Independence Day week and hold onto them for other holidays. This is especially true in regions with heavy Spanish influence, especially those that celebrate el dia de los muertos, the Day of the Dead. That includes all of Hallowtide, ending on November 2.
Whether you’ve been drinking or not, it’s best you leave fireworks to professionals, given their potential to injure you or others. Note that only “safe and sane” fireworks, i.e. those that don’t burn or explode, are allowed in California. Fireworks are completely illegal in San Diego County. However, we all know this will not stop some people from bringing illegal fireworks into the state and shooting off on Halloween.
Halloween safety tips like this one may not be obvious, but they’re vital. Cheap artificial jack-o’-lanterns are often made of highly-flammable fabrics and plastics — so don’t put real candles in them. Flameless LED “candles” are the way to go, and you can get them inexpensively at the dollar store. Candles are usually safe when used in jack-o’-lanterns made from real pumpkins, as long as they’re still fresh. (Be sure to dispose of the slippery insides responsibly.)
You can’t account for the behavior of everyone else, especially on a party night like Halloween. Even though it’s supposed to be for kids, many adults use October 31 as an excuse for drunken revelry. So if you’ve been hurt, whether by trick, firework, preventable accident, or simple stupidity on the part of someone else, call Russell & Lazarus APC for a free consultation.