Halloween Dangers and How Florida Parents Can Help Keep Kids Safe

Halloween Dangers and How Florida Parents Can Help Keep Kids Safe


It’s hard to believe that Halloween is already upon us. Children of all ages look forward to Halloween all year, and sometimes parents may even join in on the fun. However, Halloween fun also comes with particular hazards that parents need to watch out for to ensure that their kids stay safe.


A lot of people jump immediately to tampered candy when they think of Halloween danger. Your parents no doubt inspected your trick-or-treating loot before you were allowed to dig in, and you likely do the same for your kids. However, studies have shown that candy tampering is very rare, and in fact a 30-year study failed to identify a single loss of life from tampered candy.


The real hazards on Halloween stem from specific activities, costumes, and decorations. Read on to learn how to avoid these common Halloween dangers and keep your kids safe.


Trips and falls


Slips, trips, and falls are very common on Halloween, and can result in serious injury. What causes them?


Long, trailing costumes can make children fall during trick-or-treating or other Halloween events. It is also very common to wear ill-fitting shoes or high heels with a costume, which can increase the risk of trips and falls as well. To avoid costume-related trips and falls, make sure that your child’s clothes do not drag on the ground, and that he or she wears proper footwear.


If you’ll be trick-or-treating after dark, a flashlight can also reduce the risk of tripping over objects in the dark.


To prevent trick-or-treaters or partygoers from tripping and falling on your property, make sure that your walkway is well-lit, and clear away any debris. Also make sure that any decorations are kept clear of your walkway.


Fires and burns


When we think of Halloween, the smell of candles burning inside jack-o-lanterns may come to mind. However, these and other candle decorations present a fire hazard. Kids can also be burned by candles, particularly if wearing a long, flowing costume that catches fire.


To prevent these accidents entirely, use battery-operated candles or glow-sticks instead. If you do use a candle, exercise caution by lighting the candle once it’s inside your jack-o-lantern and keeping it well away from trick-or-treaters and small children.


To keep your kids from sustaining burns from others’ decorations, avoid long, flowing costumes, and make sure that costumes are flame-retardant. Also make sure that kids know how to stop, drop, and roll in the event that their clothes do catch fire.


Pedestrian hazards


Auto accidents are the leading cause of death for kids in the US, and kids are twice as likely to be hit and killed by a car on Halloween than they are on any other day of the year. Unsurprisingly, most of these accidents occur during trick-or-treating.


To keep your kids safe, add reflective tape to costumes and treat baskets and give them flashlights so that they’re more visible to passing cars, and teach them appropriate pedestrian safety practices. It may also be advisable to trick-or-treat in neighborhoods with sidewalks. Because drunk driving is unfortunately very common on Halloween, it’s also wise to head home early in the evening.


Halloween Child Choking Hazards


Choking hazards


Small, detachable parts on costumes may present choking hazards to very young children, as can many kinds of candy. For toddlers and very young children, be sure to avoid hard candies. Chewy candies such as taffy, gummy candy and caramel can also present choking hazards, so small children should also be closely supervised when eating these candies.


It’s also a good idea to wait until you’ve returned home and checked through all of your kids’ trick-or-treating loot before allowing them to dig in. This can help you identify candies that could be a choking hazard. Moreover, kids are more likely to choke on candy while they’re on the move and distracted by trick-or-treating.


Food allergies


If your child suffers from food allergies, Halloween can be a difficult time, as many well-meaning adults will hand out allergen-containing foods to kids during trick-or-treating or other Halloween events.


If your child has a food allergy, be sure to inspect all trick-or-treating candy before your child indulges. If your child has severe food allergies, you may need to replace trick-or-treating candy with purchased candy, as even eating food that has been in contact with allergens can cause a reaction in severely allergic children.


Trick-or-Treating Child Safety Tips


If your child is allergic and will be attending any Halloween parties or events, make sure that the organizers are aware of his or her allergy, and can provide alternatives to any allergen-containing foods that may be handed out.


Holidays such as Halloween are fun for the whole family, but unfortunately can cause an uptick of child injuries. Following these safety tips can help protect your kids, and make sure that the fun isn’t spoiled.



Can You Sue If You're Hurt at a Florida Haunted House?

Can You Sue If You’re Hurt at a Florida Haunted House?

Can You Sue If You're Hurt at a Florida Haunted House?

Haunted houses are supposed to be scary. You want to jump. You want to scream. You want to be nervous about turning the next corner.

What do you not want?

To get hurt.

Unfortunately, that’s exactly what happened to a Michigan woman in 2014. She visited the haunted house as a patron, and a moving wall caused her to slip and fall, resulting in multiple bone fractures. She alleged that low lighting led to her fall.

The haunted house printed a disclaimer and release on the ticket and posts warning signs at the entrance, but it was not enough, and they recently agreed to a settlement of $125,000.

If you are harmed due to negligence at a haunted house this Halloween, you may be able to file an injury claim just as she did – even if you sign a waiver.

In this post, we’re going to offer some tips on how to stay safe if you visit a haunted house this Halloween, then explain what you need to know about premises liability claims in general and how you can fight for compensation.

Florida Haunted House Safety Tips

To prevent injury when you head to a haunted house, it’s important to follow these safety tips. While you can’t prevent every accident, doing so will give you the best chance at having a good time without getting hurt.

South Florida Haunted House Accidents

Wear shoes that fit well. Oversized shoes are a recipe for a fall. Choose shoes with good traction to prevent slip and fall accidents.

Take it slow. Haunted houses are typically designed to be dark and confusing and have plenty of twists and turns. Rushing through makes you more likely to trip and fall. If allowed, take a flashlight along or use glow sticks to illuminate your path.

Watch for edges. Chances are, you’re going to jump a couple of times as unexpected scares pop out. To the best of your ability, scope out each area and try to aim those jumps to avoid any potentially dangerous corners or edges that could cause harm.

These tips will help keep you safer, but they are still not a guarantee. If you are injured, it’s wise to consult with a Florida personal injury attorney to know if you have a case.

Filing a Premises Liability Claim in Florida

If someone else’s negligence caused you to get hurt, you may be able to receive compensation for medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, and other expenses related to your accident.

A premises liability case can hold the property owner responsible for your injuries. To win, however, you must be able to prove four elements:

Duty—The property owner owed you a duty of care. In the example above, the haunted house owed the woman a duty to provide a reasonably safe environment as a paying customer.

Breach of Duty—The property owner failed to provide a reasonable standard of care. The haunted house failed to provide adequate lighting, making it an unsafe experience.

Causation—The property owner’s breach of duty caused injury to you. The inadequate lighting caused the woman to not see where she was stepping, which put her in a place to be knocked down by the moving wall. When the wall hit her, she fell and sustained multiple injuries.

Boca Raton Personal Injury Lawyers

Damages—You incurred financial expenses related to your injury, for which the property owner can be held liable. The woman received medical care for her bone fractures, which obviously cost her money.

In short, not only can you sue if you’re injured going through a haunted house, there’s a decent chance that you will win. Because these types of places tend to be constructed quickly and with far more attention put into scaring people than keeping them safe.


About the Author: 

Jeffrey Braxton is a trial lawyer in Fort Lauderdale who has devoted his career to the practice of personal injury law. As lead trial attorney for the South Florida Injury Law Firm, Jeff has litigated thousands of cases and is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, an exclusive group of attorneys who have resolved cases in excess of one million dollars.