Halloween is the one time during the year that children can dress up as their favorite super-hero or cartoon character and collect candy and treats from their friends and neighbors. Although Halloween is typically a fun night for children and adults alike, it can come with dangers.
While some cities and towns “celebrate” Halloween on the weekend, the Treasure Coast supports door-to-door trick-or-treating on October 31. As night begins to fall in your neighborhood, make sure you are prepared to keep children safe as they approach your house.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)offers a warning of the dangers surrounding Halloween celebrations. The agency encourages parents to buy flame resistant costumes. Unless a costume specifically states that it is “flame-retardant” on the package, it can pose a risk of fire and serious burn injuries to anyone wearing it. The CPSC also asks the public to refrain from using open-flame candles as decorations.
The CPSC notes that Halloween-related incidents can include burns from flammable costumes, falls and abrasions, and fires caused by unattended burning candles.
According to CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum, the make-believe of Halloween has often resulted in real life injury. Prevention, fortunately, is simple. This Halloween, individuals can reduce the risk of injury by using flame-retardant materials, flameless candles, and well-fitting costumes.
The CPSC offers the following tips from its brochure, Halloween Safety in 3 Steps:
- Prevent fire and burns. Use battery-operated candles instead of open flames for decorations, and clothe yourself and your child in flame-resistant costumes.
- See and be seen. Put reflective tape on costumes as needed and have your child carry a flashlight or glow stick.
- Fit for safety. Adjust all costumes for a snug fit and secure all accessories to avoid tripping.
Adults should accompany their children and stay alert for cars and other vehicles. Drivers may experience difficulty in seeing children as they walk through the neighborhood, making it important to stay on the lookout for automobiles. Motorists should also stay alert and drive slowly through neighborhoods and be cautious of children at intersections and crosswalks, as well as children darting across the streets.
This year, consider alternative trick-or-treat venues, such as the one offered at the Indian River County main library in Vero Beach. The city of Port St. Lucie also sponsors a Halloween party and costume contest as part of Fall Festival 2011, held at the Digital Domain Park.
Adults should be cautioned about drinking and driving during Halloween. If you attend a party, ensure that you have a designated driver if you intend to drink.
The Florida Law Enforcement Liaison (LEL), made up of law enforcement agencies throughout the state, has announced the Halloween Impaired Driving Crackdown running October 25 – November 1. As part of the National DUI Crackdown and the Florida DUI Challenge, law enforcement will conduct sobriety checkpoints and will step up efforts to stop and arrest impaired drivers on Florida highways.
Halloween festivities can be fun, but our Florida personal injury attorneys encourage everyone to take the appropriate cautions before heading out to ensure a safe evening.
Contact an Experienced Florida Personal Injury Lawyer
If you or a family member has been injured in an accident caused by another person’s negligence, it is important to consult a knowledgeable South Florida premises liability lawyer. I am attorney Philip DeBerard. I have more than three decades of legal experience helping victims of accidents and wrongful deaths in South Florida and the Treasure Coast. If character traits such as integrity, dedication and compassion are what you seek in an accident lawyer, call Philip DeBerard.
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