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How to stay safe at Halloween

Reading time: 3 mins 35 secs

First4Lawyers, October 26, 2018

Halloween is the epitome of autumn and it’s a great excuse to have fun while dressing up, decorating your house and going trick-or-treating.

However, there is a darker side to Halloween and we don’t just mean ghosts and monsters.  Unfortunately at Halloween many accidents occur, often as a result of pranks, flammable costumes, pumpkin carving or even trick-or-treating itself.

Here are a few ways you can stay safe and avoid injury this Halloween:

Costumes

Halloween costumes are often made from cheap, flammable materials such as polyester. Claudia Winkleman’s daughter famously ended up in hospital as a result of one such costume at Halloween in 2014. Claudia has since campaigned for children’s Halloween costumes to be made from less flammable materials, and for parents to be aware of what they are dressing their children in.

Yet latest research by Which? found that a number of Halloween costumes are still being sold on the high street, despite failing to meet British safety standard requirements.

Costumes can be made at home out of clothes or things you have laying around, they do not necessarily have to be bought from a supermarket or store. But if you do wear a shop-bought outfit, just be extra aware of candles, lit pumpkins, cigarettes or other items that may cause a fire.

When buying costumes from high street shops, make sure that they carry a CE mark on the label. This is an assurance that the clothing meets safety standards and should stop you and your child needing a trip to A&E at the end of the night.

Pumpkin carving

Pumpkin carving has become increasing popular and more elaborate over the last few years.

However, each Halloween injuries occur as a result of carelessness and lack of supervision.

It is always best to leave the pumpkin carving to a responsible adult, or at the very least have adult supervision.  Make sure the pumpkin is dry and secure so it cannot slip.  On a kitchen table in a well-lit area is ideal.

Children should not be allowed to use sharp knives. For best results, use a pumpkin carving set. These are often inexpensive and can be found in most supermarkets -  they are much less likely to cause accidents when used carefully and safely.

You might also want to consider carefully cutting shapes into the pumpkin that your children can then poke out, using fingers or a spoon.

Pranks

Many of us have pulled pranks or had pranks pulled upon us during the Halloween season. But pranks can go wrong, causing injury and accident.

Never prank someone who is driving, whether you are a passenger or you try and jump on a car from the outside. This could cause both you and the driver serious harm, and may also lead to the harm of others.

Try not to cause injury to yourself or your victim. Playful pranks are easy enough to come by, they don’t need to be taken to the next level. Assess your surroundings, are there objects around that could cause serious injury to either of you? If so, it may be best to choose another location, or avoid the prank altogether.

Trick or treating

It’s easy to get lost in the excitement when trick-or-treating, but stay aware of what is happening around you. Watch out for cars, and stick to areas and houses you know to be safe and well-lit. As a driver, it is also important to remain vigilant and keep an eye out for trick-or-treaters who may have wandered into the road.