At Halloween, similar injuries to children happen every year: burn injuries that are the result of flammable costumes; slip and falls on neighborhood sidewalks from poorly maintained roads and ill-fitting costumes that drag on the ground; pedestrian accidents that lead to injury and wrongful death are also common. These can arise from negligent drivers who do not see children in dark costumes and excited children who do see cars because of poor visibility from costume masks. Since most trick-or-treating takes place near dusk or just after dark, the dangers are exacerbated by what may be inadequate street lighting. When streets are lined with trick-or-treaters, drivers must take extreme precaution to avoid causing a Halloween tragedy.
Since California is so densely populated and so spread out with suburbs and track homes dotting the landscape, neighborhoods will be filled with young children looking for candy at the same time that commuters will be returning home from work. The combination can be risky. Safety precautions when crossing streets should be adhered to even more vigorously during Halloween in Southern California.
Kids aren’t the only people at risk of Halloween-related tragedy. Candles used to illuminate jack-o-lanterns and other festive décor are often the cause of house fires. Children and pets can easily knock such candles over. Additionally, electrical decorations and outdoor holiday lights often overburden electrical strips and lead to fires. This can put all members of a family at risk.
For tips on how to stay safe this Halloween, see the Consumer Protection Safety Commission’s website: http://www.cpsc.gov/