Halloween is one of the most fun times of the year for children, and also the one time during the year parents have no qualms about stealing the Reese’s haul after the kids go to sleep.
But while the fun abounds, there are also a lot of safety issues that need our attention (before we hit the Reese’s).
So with that in mind, do yourself a favor and follow these steps, courtesy of Michael D. Mumola, a partner at the law firm of KMH&L who specializes in personal injury matters, to make sure you have more treats than tricks this Halloween.
For those of you taking the little ones house to house:
- Pay attention to your surroundings: This goes beyond looking both ways. Be aware of broken stairs, broken sidewalks, and loose railings.
- Many families bring their dogs out trick-or-treating. And while it’s always fun to pet a furry friend, excited little children in costumes may rouse unexpected behavior out of normally timid pets. In short: Exercise caution around dogs that don’t know your children.
- Kids are going to run ahead. That’s what kids do. Be sure to instruct them to watch for driveway traffic and to make sure they stop and wait for adults before crossing streets.
- Give a pass to houses that don’t have their porch light on. They’re probably not home, and even if they are, not being able to see where you’re walking is not something we want our kids to be doing.
- Children and piles of leaves = chocolate and peanut butter. But this time of the year, many leaf piles are curbside, and a mistimed step or jump could result in injury.
And on the off chance something does go wrong?
“If you or your children are unfortunately injured make sure you document everything with pictures, addresses and contact information of any potential witnesses,” Mumola said.
Of course, tips for Halloween safety aren’t limited to those going out. If you plan on giving out candy, a few simple steps can keep you in the clear.
- Keep your steps and walkways clear of leaves and any other potential debris.
- Keep your own pets inside
- Secure your railings.
- And if you’re really getting into the spirit of the holiday and plan a “trick” to go along with your “treats,” be aware that “if you scare people and they end up getting hurt, you’re on the hook,” according to Mumola.
Maybe it’s best to leave the Vincent Price stuff to … well, to the ghost of Vincent Price.
Happy Halloween, be safe, and if your Reese’s are missing, don’t look in our direction. We promise.