Trick-or-treating is one of the traditions that makes Halloween such a fun and memorable holiday for kids and parents alike. However, it’s not without its dangers. Parents must be extremely cautious and attentive for hazards when their kids are out trick-or-treating, and homeowners have their share of duties to keep kids stepping onto their properties safe, too.
If you’re expecting trick-or-treaters this year, here are a few tips to follow to ensure your home is safe for any costumed and candy-seeking guests.
Not all homes participate in trick-or-treating on Halloween. If you’re game for it, you’ll need to show parents and their children that they can expect a treat when they ring your doorbell. Turning on your outdoor light typically gives trick-or-treaters the green light to visit your home—especially if you’ve got a few Halloween decorations in your yard!
Kids will face many slip and fall hazards on Halloween night. Not only are they usually walking at dusk or in the dark, but they also may be wearing long or baggy costumes and masks that partially obscure their vision. By keeping your sidewalk and/or driveway well-lit, you can ensure that kids will have an easier and safer time reaching your front door.
In addition to illuminating the path trick-or-treaters will take to your door, you should also ensure that it’s safe and free from potential trip hazards. Start on the sidewalk or end of your driveway and walk towards your front door. Be on the lookout for anything that could cause an accident or injury, including wet leaves, tree roots, broken steps, loose pavement, and more.
If your walkway is poorly maintained with a cracked or uneven pathway, or loose steps or stair railings, or crisscrossed with hoses or extension cables that might be hard to spot and easy to trip over, you could be held liable if someone falls and is injured!
No matter how friendly your dog (or cat!) is, it’s important to keep them well away from trick-or-treaters on Halloween night. Many animal bites, scratches, and attacks are initiated by pets that have never shown any signs of aggression in the past.
Your pet may be scared by so many strangers approaching their home, especially because kids can behave unpredictably. This may cause your pet to lash out in unexpected ways.
Although you can’t know the allergies of every child who shows up at your house in search of candy, you can take a few steps to reduce the risk of them having a reaction. Don’t give out candy that contains common allergens like peanuts or tree nuts, and consider supplementing your goodie bag with fun but practical items like stickers and crayons.
Got a Jack-o’-lantern or two near your front door? Make sure they’re light with a battery-powered light instead of a real flame. You can buy tea lights that emulate the spooky and dramatic flickering of a candle without the added risk of a fire or a trick-or-treater’s trailing costume going up in flames.
If you have a swimming pool on your property, ensure that no one can access it. Swimming pools should be fenced in with entry gates locked. It’s important to make sure that no one can access your pool, as children who wander or sneak into your pool area can fall in and be unable to get out—especially in their Halloween costumes.
You do everything you can to keep your children safe while they’re trick-or-treating, and you return the favor for children who visit your home. But not all homeowners are safety-conscious, and sometimes, kids or their parents get seriously injured by hazards on someone else’s property while enjoying a night that’s supposed to be fun.
If you or your child get hurt on someone else’s property while trick-or-treating, the Montgomery slip and fall attorneys at Vance Law Firm want to help you get the compensation you’re owed. Contact us today for a free consultation. We have the experience and knowledge of the law you need to win your claim.