Planning for a Safe Halloween
Halloween is meant to be a fun holiday for little kids. It can only be fun if it’s also a safe Halloween.
Sure there are the monsters and gruesome decorations intended to scare people but overall most children look forward to dressing up and trick or treating for candy.
There are, however, some things we parents should be frightened of on Halloween and, no, statistically speaking, tainted candy is not one of them. Here are some things to be aware of and some quick tips for a safe Halloween.
Poor visibility and dark costumes often result in accidents. As a matter of fact, children are four times more likely to be hit by a car on Halloween than any other night. These collisions result in double the number of pedestrian fatalities than the average night.
(For a short video about this, go to our Safe Halloween Tips video here.)
- 70% of these accidents occur away from an intersection or crosswalk, so always cross the street at the corner where you will be more visible and make eye contact with drivers.
- Walk in groups and have kids use glow sticks or flashlights to help them see and be seen by drivers.
- Children under age 12 should have adult supervision. If older kids are mature enough to be out without supervision, plan a route with them staying in well-lit, familiar areas and remind them to trick-or-treat in groups and return home at a specified time.
- Make sure costumes fit properly to prevent tripping.
- Masks might obstruct a child’s vision, try non-toxic face paint and makeup instead.
- Decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers.
If you are the driver:
- Slow down.
- Most children trick-or-treat from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. (and 60% of the pedestrian accidents happen) so be especially alert for kids during those hours.
- Put your phone away while driving.
- Two-thirds of all highway fatalities on Halloween are alcohol-related. If you have been drinking, have someone else drive.
There is an increase in burns during Halloween also.
- Use battery-powered tea lights instead of real candles in your pumpkins.
- Candlelit pumpkins should be placed on a sturdy table away from flammable objects and where little feet won’t trip over them or kick them over, and should never be left unattended.
- Make sure your children’s costumes are made of fire-retardant materials.
In general, use common sense; only go to people’s homes where it is obvious they are participating in trick-or-treating because their home is lit and oftentimes decorated. And be courteous; stay off people’s lawns, don’t push younger kids out of the way at doors and say “thank you.”
For more Halloween road safety, view this infographic.
For even more Halloween safety tips, you can read this very comprehensive article on Coupon Chief.
We want to know, what else do you do to make a safe Halloween? Share your comments below.
By Amie Durocher, Creative Director at Safe Ride 4 Kids and certified CPS Tech since 2004
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