It’s the end of October, which means it’s nearly Halloween! Adults across Northern Ireland are putting the finishing touches on their scary decorations, while children can’t wait to dress up and go trick-or-treating. While most people have a blast on Halloween, it is important to note that certain dangers are more prevalent this time of year. Knowing what to look out for can help avoid unnecessary accidents and injuries, ruining a fun night out with family and friends. So pay close attention to our latest blog as we demystify some hidden hazards.
Trips and Falls
Pedestrian accidents tend to increase around Halloween as many people go out in dark or dimly lit areas. Children in particular are often involved in trips and falls while they’re trick-or-treating. Most kids are walking up and down pathways they are unfamiliar with, resulting in unforeseen tumbles. However, it’s easy to avoid these common injuries by staying in well-lit areas and keeping an eye out for tripping hazards like decorations.
Many families across Northern Ireland partake in pumpkin carving this time of year. Everyone wants to create something fun and spooky, but carving certain patterns can lead to lacerations across hands and arms if you’re not careful. In order to avoid unintended injuries, it is best that adults are the ones that cut out the patters. Additionally, studies have shown that specialised pumpkin carving tools cause less severe injuries than kitchen knives, so make sure you have the proper tools for the job.
There are loads of spooky distractions and dangers on Halloween. With many happy children going door-to-door, some can get a bit distracted and walk onto the road. Studies have shown that children are twice as likely to be struck by a vehicle on Halloween. It is extremely important that you stay extra cautious and slow down around dimly lit areas. You never know when someone in a dark costume might appear from behind a parked car!
Many Halloween costumes come with some hidden dangers. Some costumes come with sharp objects like plastic swords or pitchforks. Adults should avoid giving these to children, instead replacing them with foam alternatives. Additionally, costumes that are made of flammable materials should be avoided. Lastly, some costumes come with face masks that limit visibility. Ensure that your child’s mask is fitted correctly in order to avoid unnecessary accidents.
In Northern Ireland, numerous people are injured by fireworks on Halloween every year. According to NI Fire and Rescue Services, last Halloween there was a 22% increase in calls, resulting in the NIFRS appealing to everyone to apply caution. The explosive force of a firework can cause injuries to your face and hands. They can be particularly dangerous for children who are wearing highly flammable costumes. It is best that fireworks are handled properly by an adult wearing gloves in order to avoid any serious injuries.
Food poisoning or allergy
While most people give away fresh sweets purchased that year, occasionally children might pick up some older sweets that may cause unintended problems. Always make sure an adult inspect the sweets, checking for any irregularities. This is particularly important if a child has any serious allergies.
While it’s important to recognise the dangers that arise this time of year, they should not cause you to avoid going out on Halloween entirely. When done responsibly, it’s an amazing time of year that shouldn’t be missed. Go out, have fun, and stay safe!
If you or someone you know is involved in an accident on Halloween, we are here to help. Learn more about our various services or contact us today.