Halloween is one of the liveliest nights of the year, and that’s why Halloween safety is so important. If you have children, you know that Halloween is one of the most highly anticipated holidays. Children can barely contain their excitement! The holiday is full of people dressed in costumes, heading out to parties, and in general celebrating the weird and spooky.
Many people do not fully consider the risks inherent in this festive occasion. According to research by State Farm and Sperling’s BestPlaces
, there have been 115 child deaths on Halloween night during the years 1990-2010. The risk of getting hit on Halloween is at least twice as likely than any other night of the year.
There are many things guardians and kids can do to lessen risk and keep Halloween fun. Consider these tips for a smooth Halloween celebration.
Driving Safely on Halloween
Kids are full of excitement on Halloween and are distracted by friends and costumes — not to mention sugar! If possible, avoid driving entirely on Halloween night.
If you are going out or chaperoning your children, be aware that Halloween night is one of the top three nights of the year for pedestrian injuries and deaths, according to the Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Keep these tips in mind when driving on Halloween:
- Be extra aware of your surroundings. Be vigilant at crosswalks and intersections, and keep in mind that children are even less likely to be cautious than usual.
- Check road shoulders and medians for trick-or-treaters.
- Slow down! Drive well below the speed limit, especially between 5:00pm and 9:30pm which are the most popular trick-or-treating hours.
- Keep your headlights on even during daylight hours to be sure your vehicle is highly visible.
- Drive defensively. Expect children to cross in the middle of the road, weave between parked cars, and make surprising movements.
- Be especially conscious to avoid any distractions in your car while driving, like cell phones and playing with the radio.
Safe Costumes Are More Fun
As your family considers costume choices, keep Halloween safety high on the priority list.
Children will be safer if their costumes are reflective and brightly colored. Most costumes are made with flame-resistant materials, but double check before you purchase. Black costumes are difficult to see, but if your child is wearing black, consider applying reflective tape to the front and back of their costume and trick-or-treat bags.
Carrying or wearing glow sticks is a fun way to make a child more visible to drivers. Kids can also wear a headlamp or carry a flashlight.
Masks are spooky, but tend to make it harder for kids to see — choose face paint instead if your child is amenable. Light-colored face paint is naturally reflective and will be easier for others to see.
If a costume is ill-fitting, kids are more likely to trip, so make sure costumes fit well.
Halloween Safety for Trick-or-Treaters
Review Halloween safety rules with your children before heading out that night. Kids get that glazed-over look when they hear their parents talk about safety, so engage them by asking their ideas about how to stay safe on Halloween.
As a general rule, an adult should supervise children under 12 years old. Establish an agreed-upon curfew if older kids are going out with a group of friends. It is wise to discuss a route with your child and ask them to stick to it. Advise your children to follow these additional rules while trick-or-treating:
- Walk on sidewalks whenever possible, or against oncoming traffic on the left side of the road.
- Always look left, right, then left again when crossing the street.
- Cross the street only at crosswalks, intersections and corners.
- Trick-or-Treat with a group of friends and stay together.
- Stay in well-lit areas that are highly trafficked by other kids and families.
You may wish to use the opportunity to remind children that basic rules about interacting with strangers still apply. Children should never go anywhere with someone they don’t know or enter the vehicle of a stranger. Though there is no evidence that children are more likely to be victims of child predators on Halloween, extra caution is still advised.
Halloween Safety in Your Home and Yard
If you or someone else in your family will be at home giving out treats on Halloween, take the time to check your yard for hazards and be sure your house is well lit. Remove any hoses or garden equipment from the path to your door so that children can move freely.
Jack-o-lanterns are beautiful when lit up, but use battery operated candles instead of wax ones to avoid the fire hazard.
Another Halloween safety tip is to remove any toys from around your yard, and clean up after your pets to insure no one steps in anything! It is best to keep pets safely indoors, as kids’ masks and costumes might be disturbing for them. Lastly, if you have an automatic sprinkler system, be sure it is turned off during peak Halloween hours!
We Are Personal Injury Lawyers Here to Help You
If you or a family member is involved in an accident on Halloween or any day of the year, consult the experienced attorneys at Donaghue & Labrum. We understand that accidents happen, and when they do, you need a trustworthy ally. We will work with you to be sure that you receive the compensation you deserve. We are conveniently located in West Chester and Media, Pennsylvania and we offer complimentary consultations. Call us any time to set up an appointment.