Halloween can be scarier for reasons beyond the ghoulish costumes and decorations. It is a holiday that often involves a variety of potential personal injuries. This year involves additional considerations related to COVID-19 exposure risks. That said, while this year’s Halloween traditional activities may be altered depending on local restrictions, some people may still do things like trick or treating and hosting outdoor gatherings.
In this post, we outline safety concerns related to Halloween generally and provide easy to implement celebration alternatives for individuals participating in Halloween activities this year.
Six Potential Sources of Personal Injuries During Halloween
Here are six things that require special attention this Halloween:
1) Slip and Fall Injuries
Uneven pavement and sidewalks, coupled with poor lighting and costumes, can lead to slips and falls. These situations can result in minor scrapes and bruises or more serious head injuries or broken bones.
2) DUIs and Distracted Driving
Adults, who may be shuttling kids to activities like trick or treating, can become distracted by decorations, their phones, and keeping their kids under control. Additionally, adults, who may be consuming alcohol at gatherings, should avoid driving their car as more people will be out and about during Halloween.
3) Pedestrian Accidents
With reduced visibility because of costumes and directing their attention elsewhere, pedestrians on Halloween may not be taking as many precautions when walking between trick or treat stops or other activities. Drivers should be extra cautious when entering residential areas, keeping distractions to a minimum.
4) Burn Injuries
Flowing costumes, jack-o’-lanterns with candles, and other home decor can all cause burns during Halloween. Opt for LED or battery-powered decor instead. Likewise, purchase costumes that do not have low-hanging pieces; this will also help keep you safe from slips and falls.
5) Food Poisoning
Avoid consuming candy or other goodies if the packaging is damaged or opened as the contents may be contaminated by bacteria or other germs.
6) Coronavirus Exposure
This year there are greater concerns around social distancing and potential COVID-19 exposure through interactions with communal candy bowls and other surfaces.
Tips for Staying Safe During Halloween
- Pay attention to your surroundings when you are out during Halloween.
- Look both ways while crossing the street.
- Keep an eye out for uneven surfaces that may pose a fall risk.
- Carry hand sanitizer or wipes with you to keep your hands clean.
- Wear a mask when coming into areas where social distancing is not possible.
- For homeowners, if your area is hosting trick or treaters, clear out potential slip and fall hazards, like leaves, and offer treats via a one-way trick-or-treating set-up. We recommend arranging single bags of treats in front of a home’s door or driveway.
For additional ideas to do this Halloween and stay safe, check out this list from CBS Baltimore.