Halloween appeals to people of all ages, and this time of year always brings fanfare and activities like dressing up in costumes, carving pumpkins, trick or treating, haunted houses, and corn mazes. While having fun is always a goal on Halloween, an equally important goal should be staying safe.
Across the country, millions of children and their parents will be out on the street to trick or treat on Halloween. According to Safe Kids Worldwide, children are more than twice as likely to be struck by a car and killed on Halloween than on any other night during the year. Another issue on Halloween is drunk driving. Halloween is known as a party night, and one study has shown alcohol violations/citations are 4.5 times higher when Halloween falls on a weekend compared to a weekday.
Using due care, being aware of your surroundings, and not taking unnecessary risks are all ways to avoid injuries and get to and from your destination in one piece. Below are specific tips that parents, families, and members of the community can utilize to make Halloween 2017 a safe holiday.
Safety Tips for Parents and Children
- Accompany your children while trick or treating, especially if they are under the age of 12. Young children should not be left alone.
- Look both ways before crossing the street. When crossing the street, do not look down at a cell phone or another distracting device.
- Walk on the sidewalk whenever possible, and be on the lookout for cars that are backing up out of houses.
- Use flashlights and reflective gear – that way, drivers have a better chance of seeing you.
- Try to only trick or treat in well-lit areas.
- Make sure kids wear costumes that fit. If a costume is too large, a child could trip and fall.
- Wear lighter colors if possible – dark clothing could make a smaller child difficult for a motorist to perceive.
- Wear flame-resistant costumes.
- Be careful when using masks, which can obstruct a child’s vision. Alternatives to masks could include face paint and/or makeup. However, be sure to remove these before putting your child to bed in order to prevent skin irritation.
Safety Tips for Drivers
- Be aware of pedestrians. Pedestrian accidents typically account for nearly 15% of all motor vehicle fatalities each year. This risk is amplified on a holiday like Halloween where streets are full of people walking around.
- Drive slowly, especially in residential areas. Be on the lookout for small children. Many injuries occur when it is dark outside, particularly between the hours of 4:00 – 10:00 pm.
- Always look both ways, especially when entering and exiting driveways and neighborhoods.
Here’s to a safe Halloween 2017!