Halloween isn’t the perfect holiday for accidents

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Hunting is the biggest cause of people getting injured

People should still hunt and shoot on Thanksgiving this year. But Halloween is still very dangerous – at least for girls.

Several studies have shown that being outdoors is still the safest option for gatherings when people are out partying.

There is also little evidence hunting in particular causes a lot of injuries.

But we’re not ruling out football. In fact, not being careful with your eyes will be so bad for you, a recent study said.

All the usual dangers

Every year at this time, the joy of the holidays is tested by the number of people either in hospital or being treated in emergency rooms after getting injured.

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Women are not the only ones falling victim to serious injuries

There are many reasons for this.

The sun is shining. Alcohol is flowing. If you’re walking out on your balcony, you’re at risk of being knocked over by a party-goer. And if you are putting out a tablecloth and chairs, you’re also at risk of a lawnmower killing your roast turkey.

Risk assessments are based on simple “risk factors” such as the size of your party, the food being served, whether alcohol is being poured and whether you’re expected to be dancing.

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption An Arsenal fan suffered an eye injury in an incident at Crystal Palace on Sunday

Every year, an update from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons – the Plastic Surgery Society (APS) – shows that injuries, especially in the over-55s, are increasing significantly.

Breast augmentation, for example, is said to now account for more than 14% of surgical complications, rising to 26% when the factors that cause surgery have been accounted for. This is largely due to the number of procedures being done.

Also, urologists have more complaints from male patients with erectile dysfunction (ED) due to poor hygienic conditions around the genitals.

It is a cocktail of risk factors: people being older, drinking more, being unable to take it outside because of adverse weather, or having poor judgement and overconsumption of alcohol.

They are relatively simple reasons to think about the safety of gathering places this year, especially when one more risk factor is the increased possibility of injury being due to unprotected sex on Halloween.

That is because a new study out this week showed women were exposed to more potential eye injuries because they are less likely to cover their eyes in light.

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Putting up a duvet could protect you from slicing your eye

In fact, the APS points out, it is the younger and more impressionable parts of the population who still feel safest going outside in autumn.

The Natural Resources Defence Council (NRDC) pointed out that people seem to think they can handle various kinds of risks, even if it means an eye injury.

The NRDC published a video based on their findings and included a number of tips people should take into account while out and about, like choosing fluorescent lighting, to really avoid injury.

Even with the risk of an attack, the NRDC reminds you never to leave kids alone and to keep doors locked when attending parties and events.

The NRDC’s 20% strategy for promoting safety in the autumn and winter incorporates the use of lights, and advised people with fireworks to have experienced safety personnel nearby.

I’d like to add that safety does vary from person to person. I’m allergic to a lot of small fruits but not tree nuts. I’m 5ft 7in (160cm) but my husband is 15 cm shorter. It seems that exercise can affect how safe we feel.

Dr Jenny Alexander and Dr David Clifford of the Oxford Sports Injury Epidemiology Group conducted a study published in the journal PLOS Medicine last month, comparing people in and out of sport.

It found very different injury levels for participants who exercised in summer and winter.

“The conclusion was people in colder climes are generally healthier, and do not suffer injuries as often,” Dr Alexander told the BBC.

There is also growing evidence that children’s injuries are due to lower impact activities, such as tackle football, that are not as damaging as many parents think.

“The evidence is very conflicting around this, it is all about what is acceptable as a football and the level of contact,” Dr Clifford told the BBC.

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