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Halloween Safety

Posted By Regan Zambri & Long || 29-Oct-2009

Posted by: Salvatore J. Zambri, Esquire

Halloween is fun–one of the best days of the year for many kids and families.  All too often, though, kids are seriously injured while "trick or treating".  I urge you to take reasonable precautions so that the day can be remembered as a joyous one.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has published some safety tips that, if followed, can protect children during the holiday festivities.

"Treats: Warn children not to eat any treats before an adult has carefully examined them for evidence of tampering.

Flame Resistant Costumes: When purchasing a costume, masks, beards, and wigs, look for the label Flame Resistant. Although this label does not mean these items won’t catch fire, it does indicate the items will resist burning and should extinguish quickly once removed from the ignition source. To minimize the risk of contact with candles or other sources of ignition, avoid costumes made with flimsy materials and outfits with big, baggy sleeves or billowing skirts.

Costume Designs: Purchase or make costumes that are light and bright enough to be clearly visible to motorists.

    • For greater visibility during dusk and darkness, decorate or trim costumes with reflective tape that will glow in the beam of a car’s headlights. Bags or sacks should also be light colored or decorated with reflective tape. Reflective tape is usually available in hardware, bicycle, and sporting goods stores.
    • To easily see and be seen, children should also carry flashlights.
    • Costumes should be short enough to prevent children from tripping and falling.
    • Children should wear well-fitting, sturdy shoes . Mother’ s high heels are not a good idea for safe walking.
    • Hats and scarfs should be tied securely to prevent them from slipping over children’s eyes.
    • Apply a natural mask of cosmetics rather than have a child wear a loose-fitting mask that might restrict breathing or obscure vision. If a mask is used, however, make sure it fits securely and has eyeholes large enough to allow full vision.
    • Swords, knives, and similar costume accessories should be of soft and flexible material.

Pedestrian Safety: Young children should always be accompanied by an adult or an older, responsible child. All children should WALK, not run from house to house and use the sidewalk if available, rather than walk in the street. Children should be cautioned against running out from between parked cars, or across lawns and yards where ornaments, furniture, or clotheslines present dangers.

Choosing Safe Houses: Children should go only to homes where the residents are known and have outside lights on as a sign of welcome.

    • Children should not enter homes or apartments unless they are accompanied by an adult.
    • People expecting trick-or-treaters should remove anything that could be an obstacle from lawns, steps and porches. Candlelit jack-o’-lanterns should be kept away from landings and doorsteps where costumes could brush against the flame. Indoor jack-o’-lanterns should be kept away from curtains, decorations, and other furnishings that could be ignited."

If you have further questions about product safety, you can call the U.S . Consumer Product Safety Commission’s toll-free hotline on (800) 638-2772.  If hearing impaired, you may use TTY (301) 595-7054.

All of us at RZL wish you a safe and happy holiday.

About the author:

Mr. Zambri is a Past-President of the Trial Lawyers Association of Metropolitan Washington, D.C. and has been rated by Washingtonian magazine as a "Big Gun" and among the "top 1%" of all lawyers in the Washington metropolitan area.  The magazine also describes him as "one of Washington’s best–most honest and effective lawyers" who specializes in personal injury matters, including product liability and automobile accident claims.  Mr. Zambri has also been named a "Super Lawyer" by Super Lawyer magazine (March/April 2009)–a national publication that honors the top lawyers in America.  

Mr. Zambri was sought after to publish a chapter regarding product liability litigation in Aspatore Books – a company that is touted as "the largest and most exclusive publisher of C-1 Level executives (CEO, CFO, CTO, CMO, Partner) from the world’s most respected companies and law firms."  To read Mr. Zambri’s publication, entitled "Constantly Preparing To Win", please click here.

If you have any questions about your legal rights, please email Mr. Zambri at szambri@reganfirm.com or call him at 202-822-1899. 

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