There are many potential dangers for children and families celebrating the Halloween holiday. Have fun, but stay safe! Follow our safety tips to ensure that you and your family have a happy and healthy holiday. If accidents do occur, be sure to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Accident victims in Florida have legal rights which must be protected.
Car accidents are known to be a particular problem for trick-or-treaters on Halloween. Children tend to react unpredictably in the roadway. This problem is exacerbated by their excitement for the holiday, the effect of being in a large group, and the potential for impaired vision or movement by their costumes. Drivers must use particular caution on Halloween. Slow down, and watch especially carefully for children in dark costumes which are difficult to see. Be prepared to react to unexpected movements by children near your vehicle.
Just last year, Floridians experienced a tragic reminder of the dangers of Halloween car accidents. The News-Press reports that a Cape Coral woman has been charged for causing a fatal car accident which killed a Fort Myers woman on Halloween 2016. Blood tests showed that the driver had alcohol, cocaine, marijuana and oxycodone in her system at the time of the accident.
Costume Safety Tips
Aside from being a tripping hazard, there are many other ways in which a costume can pose dangers to children. Prop weapons can injure children if they are not designed safely. Masks can obstruct breathing. (The American Academy of Pediatrics even recommends using safer alternatives to masks, such as non-toxic makeup and decorative hats.) Many costumes are made out of flammable material.
When negligent design or manufacturing causes a product to injure a child, that child has the legal right to be compensated for his or her injuries and losses. This compensation can be obtained from the manufacturer, distributor, retailer, and anyone else responsible for placing the dangerous item in the “stream of commerce” which lead it to a child. Manufacturers of products which are specifically designed for children - such as costumes, toys, candy, and other Halloween goods - are held to a particularly high standard of safety.
Halloween presents many flammable products. Open flames in pumpkins and luminaries should always be closely supervised. Set them on study table or surfaces which are out of reach of children or pets. Ensure that curtains, costumes, fabrics, and other materials are clear of the flame area. Consider safer alternatives, such as battery-operated LED lights, flashlights, or glow sticks. Check to be sure your child’s costume is flame resistant or flame retardant. At the least, it should be made of non-flammable materials. Teach children to stay away from any open flame, and provide other fire safety tips.
Contact an experienced West Palm Beach slip and fall or pedestrian accident attorney as soon as possible after any Halloween accident. He or she will protect the legal rights of you and your family, and ensure that other innocent victims are not harmed by negligent conduct.