Halloween should be a time of joy for both children, parents and neighbors. Sadly, though, many children and even parents do get hurt unnecessarily during the holidays. Some of the harm is intentional. Most harm is due to negligence.
Intentional harm to children
Any neighbor who intentionally harms a child can be held liable for the pain and suffering, medical bills, and other damages the neighbor causes. They may also be forced to pay punitive damages. We know that this is a pretty rare occurrence, but we want you to know all the facts before your little ghouls go out for the night.
Negligence and carelessness during Halloween
Many Halloween accidents happen for the following reasons:
- Inattentive drivers. During Halloween, many children walk in the streets and cross the streets to get from one home to the next. Drivers should be extra-cautious during Halloween. Drivers should understand when children are most likely to be out and about – usually late afternoon and early evening. Anyone who plans to drink should stay home or arrange for a designated sober driver.
- Burn injuries. Costumes with long sleeves and capes can easily catch fire if they are exposed to candles or flames – such as Jack-o-Lantern flames. Serious burns can require skin grafts and plastic surgery. They can leave a lifetime of scarring. Uncontrolled burns can be fatal.
- Chemical injuries. Makeup can pose a danger if the child is allergic to any of the compounds. Chemical injuries can cause breathing difficulties and even death.
- Eye injuries. As kids play with their props (fake swords, weapons, canes, and other costume accessories), they can easily be struck in the eye. In addition to immediate physical pain, eye injuries can result in a partial or full loss of vision for the child’s lifetime.
- Suffocation. Masks that are too tight can cause a child to suffocate.
- Accidental poisoning. With the new emergence of “edibles,” more and more kids are accidentally ingesting marijuana. Make sure to inspect your kid’s haul so that he or she doesn’t end up eating someone’s medicine.
Parents should inspect their children’s costumes and accessories before allowing the children to wear them for the holiday and for any school or family-related Halloween events. Brighter costumes are better. Reflective tape can help. Hats are usually a better choice than masks. Parents should check that the gear they buy is flame resistant. Children should understand which homes they can knock on and which ones they should avoid. Young children should always be accompanied by an adult. Kids should have access to a cell phone to call their parents or 911.
At Gainsberg Law, our Chicago personal injury lawyers hope children across Illinois enjoy the spirt of the holiday. We are ready to help the parents of any child and the child if carelessness or intentional misconduct causes your child harm. The safety of children must come before the exuberance of the holiday. We hold property owners and any other responsible parties responsible when they cause your child physical and emotional harm. For help with any type of personal injury claim, please phone us at 312.313.1621 or fill out our contact form to make an appointment. We represent personal injury victims on a contingency fee basis.