Halloween is that time of year when you allow children and teenagers a bit more leeway. When you understand that a few tricks or pranks are bound to be played and at the end of the day, are all part of celebrating this holiday.
However, it is no coincidence that October 31st and the days surrounding it are also the days with the highest number of recorded accidents. The really scary thing on Halloween is not the ghosts and ghouls but the increase in potential hazards!
When you analyse Halloween, there are obviously many accidents waiting to happen. Young Children dressed in dark clothing, masks covering their faces, running around unaccompanied on dark streets. Then add in the annual pranks of throwing eggs and even fireworks and you’ve just about got most of the potential dangers.
Now enough of the doom and gloom, there is a solution! Follow these easy to implement steps that will make Halloween just as safe as any other night!
There are three main hazards on Halloween;
- Road safety.
- Fire safety.
- Trip and fall safety.
One statistic that I find most frightening is the fact that you are four times more likely to be fatally killed in a road accident.
- Give your child a torch and take one for yourself!
- Walk on the pavements in single-file, or hold your child’s hand.
- Don’t skateboard, roller-blade or cycle.
- Make sure kids remove any mask that will obscure vision or affect how they can cross the road.
- Don’t allow children to run from house to house.
With Bonfire Night being just round the corner on Halloween, fireworks and fires in general are also a major hazard.
- When making or purchasing a costume, masks, beards, and wigs, use fire retardant materials when possible!
- Minimize the risk of contact with candles or other sources of ignition by avoiding costumes made with flimsy materials and with big, baggy sleeves.
- Keep candles, matches and lighters out of children’s reach.
- Teach your child “Stop-Drop-Roll”, should their clothes catch on fire.
Preventing trips and falls.
- Wear well-fitting masks, costumes, and shoes to avoid blocked vision, trips, and falls.
- Costumes should be short enough to prevent children from tripping and falling.
- Eye holes should be large enough for good peripheral vision.
- Torches help trick-or-treaters see where they are walking to prevent falls.
Five Strange Injuries
Consuming too much black licorice may cause abnormal heartbeats, or arrhythmias, particularly in older adults. Black licorice contains the compound glycyrrhizin, which can cause the body’s potassium levels to fall.
In some people, this can lead to, besides arrhythmias, edema (swelling), lethargy or congestive heart failure. Don’t eat lots of black licorice all at once; and if you’ve been binging on the stuff and you experience irregular heartbeats or muscle weakness, contact your doctor.
Bobbing for Applies Infections
An eye expert has warned that Halloween traditions such as bobbing for apples could put people at risk of serious corneal infections.
The Doctor said some scratches, infections and eye injuries were picked up from hitting an apple at force when playing the bobbing for apple game.
“And in addition to these types of injury, there is the possibility of people contracting potentially serious corneal infections from dirty water or residue of liquids if bowls aren’t cleaned properly,” he added. (BBC, 2010)
Egging is not only a major criminal damage hazard due to the smashed windows, dented cars and splattered driveways that usually occur each year but it can also result in some nasty injuries; I’m speaking from experience here!
There are not only a few bruises and black eyes from eggs but it can also result in scratches to the cornea and retinal swelling that can lead to severe visual impairments.
If you are going to go out egging this year, just make sure they’re not hard boiled!
Pranks going wrong
We’ve all seen some of the videos on Youtube where pranks go wrong to hilarious effect, however, there are also a lot more pranks that have resulted in serious injuries.
Pranks are part and parcel of Halloween and hopefully always will be! However, when planning or implementing your tricks just use common sense on what could go wrong and think if it’ll be worth it.
Check out this video of a classic Halloween Prank going wrong!
Designing and carving your pumpkin is a big part of Halloween, however. this again does not come without its dangers.
Cut and stab wounds are most common, with stories of an American Footballer ending their season with a hand wound and a pianist ending her potential career hopes.