Pumpkin Carving, Other Hazards Led To 4,400 Halloween Injuries In 2014

According to recent warnings issued by consumer safety experts, more than 4,000 injuries occurred during October and November 2014 from Halloween related accidents, including pumpkin carving, fires, falls and other problems. 

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has called on consumers to be more vigilant while decorating for the holiday season, according to a recent blog post issued by the agency.

There were more than 4,400 injuries in October and November 2014 alone from Halloween-related activities, according to the CPSC. The top causes of Halloween injuries included pumpkin-carving accidents and problems arising from decorating. Those included fires, lacerations and falls.

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Overall, falls were the leading cause of injury in 2014, primarily from consumers tripping on poorly fitting costumes.

Consumers wearing a costume should adjust costumes to ensure a proper fit. They should also choose costumes that don’t drag on the ground to prevent slips and falls.

In 2014, Halloween-related injuries caused at least two fires and two deaths. Safety officials warn consumers they can prevent some fires by substituting open flame candles for battery-operated lights or glow sticks. Keep jack-o’-lanterns away from curtains, decorations, and other items that could catch fire and never leave burning candles unattended.

Costumes, masks and wigs should be made from flame-resistant materials, like nylon or polyester. Those fabrics will resist burning and will also extinguish quickly if they should catch on fire.

Approximately, 40% of injuries were lacerations caused from carving pumpkins. The CPSC warns consumers should choose carving utensils carefully and to leave pumpkin carving to adults. Child helpers can contribute by using a spoon to scoop out the inside of a pumpkin or use a marker to trace the design, instead of using knives to carve.

The CPSC also warns consumers should decorate their homes carefully. Prevent falls by removing obstacles from lawns, steps, and porches to prevent trick-or-treaters from falling and injuring themselves.

The CPSC also recommends wearing costumes with bright colors to be seen at night, or using reflective tape. Children should also carry flashlights to be seen at night and to also see in the dark.


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