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Preventing fall accidents this Halloween

Days are getting shorter, and evenings are darker. Cooler weather is settling in, and pumpkins adorning porches throughout the Bay Area await their transformation into Jack-o’-lanterns.  Halloween is just around the corner.

Next week, pint-sized superheroes, aliens, monsters and princesses will be walking up and down our neighborhood streets and onto our front porches. As fun as Halloween is for everyone, it is important for homeowners and parents to remember some safety tips to prevent accidents this year.

Fall accidents are all too common while trick-or-treating. After all, kids are walking in unfamiliar locations, often after dusk. It is important to remember this when decorating outdoors. Homeowners should keep walkways and stairs free from obstacles that could cause a trip and fall accident. The obstacles can include candles, pumpkins and other outdoor decorations.

This sort of precaution may seem like common sense, and the law agrees. Under the law, homeowners have a duty to keep their property in a safe condition and free from the sort of dangers that could cause an injury to their guests. Legally speaking, trick-or-treaters are considered guests, and property owners owe them a duty to keep them safe.

With the low-visibility conditions that are often part and parcel of the trick-or-treating experience, the costume itself is also an important concern, especially where masks are involved. Many great costumes come with masks, and parents should make sure that masks do not get in the way of a child’s vision. If they do, one safety tip is to expand the eye openings on masks so that kids can see where they are going.

With these tips in mind, Halloween can a safe and happy experience for everyone.

Source:, “Iowa City PD shares trick-or-treat safety tips,” Oct. 22, 2013

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