Halloween Safety Tips For a Less Scary Night

Portland ME auto accident attorneyYour daughter discovered Star Wars and is going out as Princess Leia.  Your son wants to go as Chewbacca.

Last year they were Wonder Woman and Captain America.  Not long before that, Winnie the Pooh and a Power Ranger.

And let's not start thinking ahead to next year.

For now, concentrate on October 31, 2017.

A much-anticipated night of oversized candy, long-pondered costumes and license to frighten for fun, Halloween is right up there on the calendar as a child's favorite day of the year - even despite the weather, which in Maine often can be another form of trick-or-treat.

It is also a night on which a child has more than twice the chance to be killed while walking than the average throughout the year, according to the organization Safe Kids USA.

And the dangers begin with where they are walking - or not walking, as most accidents on this night do not happen in crosswalks.

"A lot of it is the excitement of what's going on and people are less careful," a Safe Kids USA spokesperson said, pointing out that most accidents occurring between 4 and 10 p.m.

And they are not always the fault of the drivers, as children wearing masks sometimes have trouble seeing when they cross the street, or are wearing loose costumes that cause them to trip.

More than costumes and candy

    A handy checklist for the big night:

  • When shopping for costumes, wigs and accessories, look for and purchase those with labels clearly indicating they are flame resistant.
  • Decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers, and, if possible, choose light colors for the costume itself. Masks can sometimes obstruct a child's vision; try non-toxic face paint and makeup when possible.
  • A parent or responsible adult should always accompany young children on neighborhood rounds.
  • Visit only homes with porch lights on.
  • Have children use glow sticks or flashlights to help them see and be seen by drivers.
  • Make sure costumes fit to prevent trips and falls.
  • Never cross between parked cars or out of driveways.
  • Don't assume the right of way. Motorists may have trouble seeing trick-or-treaters. Even if one car stops, the next might not.
  • Remain on well-lit streets and always use sidewalks.
  • If no sidewalk is available, walk at the far edge of the roadway, facing traffic.
  • If a sword or stick is part of a child's costume, make sure it is not sharp or too long. A child may be hurt by these accessories if he or she stumbles or falls.
  • Children shouldn't snack on treats from their bags while they are out trick-or-treating.
  • Children should not accept anything that isn't commercially wrapped. Inspect commercially wrapped treats for signs of tampering. Throw away anything that looks suspicious.

Beware of the glow sticks

According to the Food and Drug Administration, children have needed emergency care after ingesting the liquid inside glow sticks worn on their wrists or around their necks to make them visible to drivers in the dark.

It is also common for children to break glow sticks, splashing the liquid into their eyes and causing a burning sensation, so caution your child against playing with them.

We're proud to fight for Maine families

Have fun, but remember that if you've been injured in a Halloween accident, attorney Joe Bornstein and his team will fight for your legal rights - and the just compensation you need.

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