How to Prevent Slip and Fall Injuries During Trick or Treating
Many South Carolina families take safety seriously during Halloween. Parents may add lights or reflective tape to costumes, homeowners may make sure the path to their door is well-lit, and everyone responsible for children ensures their trick-or-treaters look both ways before crossing streets.
Yet there’s one risk that often goes overlooked during the Halloween holiday: The risk of a slip, trip, or fall accident.
Slips, trips, and falls are common causes of injury for all age groups, including children. This Halloween, take time to identify and address potential fall risks:
Only walk on pathways or sidewalks. Cutting across a yard during trick or treating can cause you or a child to trip and stumble on something you can’t see. From sprinkler heads to holes in the ground to decorations and electrical cords, dark lawns, and yards are full of potential hazards. Stick to sidewalks and paths clearly intended for walking.
When possible, walk on lighted paths. Trick or treat in areas with streetlights or other forms of lighting that allow you to see the ground ahead of you. If you’re setting up your home to hand out candy this Halloween, place lights along the path to your door so that trick-or-treaters have a clear view of any hazards, such as cracks in the ground, power cords from Halloween decorations, and other front yard accessories.
Equip trick-or-treaters with flashlights. Where lighting is inconsistent, trick-or-treaters can use their flashlights to see what’s ahead of them. Give each of your trick-or-treaters a flashlight and carry one yourself. Encourage them to use these lights to see where they are going throughout the night.
Encourage trick-or-treaters to walk, not run. Running increases the risk of a slip, trip, or fall on hazards you or a child might not see until they’ve already stumbled. Walking gives trick-or-treaters more time to spot potential dangers. It also allows them to focus better on other surrounding risks, such as oncoming cars.
Shorten dragging costume hems. Capes, cloaks, long pants, and other oversized costume parts can be fun 一 but they can also pose a risk of injury. Make sure all costume parts are short enough that they don’t drag on the ground. Double-check shoelaces, costume props, and similar items as well.
Wear the right footwear. Oversized shoes and other costume items can increase the risk of a slip, trip, or fall as well. Ensure everyone in your trick-or-treating party has the right shoes to walk through the neighborhood in fall weather.
Make sure trick-or-treaters can see. Some masks and face or head coverings obstruct vision, making it hard for trick-or-treaters to see objects in their path. If a costume includes these, have the trick-or-treater remove them when walking between houses so they can see where they are going.
Clear a path to your door. If you’re handing out candy, reduce the risk of a slip and fall on your property by clearing leaves and other patio items from the walkway to your door. Mark this path clearly with lights and other decorations, and keep it clear throughout the trick-or-treating hours. You can help keep trick-or-treaters safe by preventing a slip or fall on your property.
Secure decorations and other tripping hazards. Halloween decorations and the cords or wires used to secure or power them can lead to a trip and fall injury. Ensure decorations are far enough from walkways that visitors won’t accidentally step on or knock them over. If you have cords running to any decorations, move them away from walkways or tape them down so they don’t cause injuries.
Think about both visibility and obstacles. Decorations like fog machines and dry ice may not place any physical obstacles in the path of your trick-or-treaters 一 but they can make it difficult to see anything else that might be in the way. If your Halloween decor includes fog machines or dry ice, incorporate these items in areas away from walkways.
Keep pets in a quiet place away from the action. Even friendly pets may be startled by trick-or-treaters. If a pet runs onto a lawn or into a group of people, the pet may pose a tripping hazard. Give your pets a quiet, relaxing Halloween away from the noise and bustle at your front door.
If an injury occurs during Halloween, seek medical attention right away. Talk to one of our experienced South Carolina slip and fall accident attorneys for advice on your legal rights and options after an injury occurs. We offer free consultations and no fee unless we collect compensation for you.