WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is reminding consumers to make safety a priority this Halloween when trick-or-treating, donning costumes, carving pumpkins and decorating.
Over the past three years, CPSC estimates that an annual average 3,600 Halloween-related injuries were treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments. Here’s how the injuries break down:
- 48% were related to pumpkin carving;
- 27% were due to falls while putting up or taking down decorations, tripping on costumes or walking while trick-or-treating;
- 25% of the injuries included lacerations, ingestions and other injuries associated with costumes, pumpkins or decorations, and allergic reactions or rashes.
Among the injured, 56 percent were adults 18 years and over, 44 percent were under 18 years old, and about six percent of all injuries were to children two years old or younger.
Avoid injuries by following these CPSC safety tips:
Leave pumpkin carving to the adults. Child helpers can grab a spoon and scoop out the inside or use a marker to trace the design.
Battery-operated lights or glow sticks are recommended for decorations and are the safest option. However, if using open-flame candles, keep them away from curtains, decorations and other combustibles that could catch fire. Never leave burning candles unattended.
Use a ladder when hanging or removing decorations, and only use lights that have been tested for safety by a recognized testing laboratory. Check each set of lights, new or old, for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires or loose connections. Discard damaged light sets.
Wear a costume that fits, and avoid overly long or baggy costumes to prevent trips and falls. Costumes with loose, flowing fabrics can also be a fire hazard when close to open flames. Costumes made of polyester or nylon fabric, and not sheer cotton or rayon fabric, reduce the hazard. However, any fabric can burn if it comes in contact with an open flame.
One last thing, be sure to follow the advice of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and your local jurisdiction. COVID-19 still lurks, so know when to wear a mask, not a Halloween costume mask, but a protective mask.
Have a safe and happy Halloween!
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of thousands of types of consumer products. Deaths, injuries, and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the nation more than $1 trillion annually. CPSC’s work to ensure the safety of consumer products has contributed to a decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 40 years.
Federal law bars any person from selling products subject to a publicly-announced voluntary recall by a manufacturer or a mandatory recall ordered by the Commission.
For lifesaving information: