Kids love the magic of Halloween; trick-or-treating all around the neighborhood dressed in their favorite character costumes. But for parents, there is often a fine line between Halloween fun and safety concerns. The nature of the holiday alone can make it perilous, as children wear loose-fitting costumes they can trip over in the dark, pumpkin carving can lead to finger and hand injuries, tales of poisoned candy, and the list goes on. But of all dangers, car accidents involving pedestrians are among the most common. The likelihood of a car accident involving children rises to about four times the normal rate on Halloween, due to trick-or-treaters, reckless teens, and most certainly negligent drivers.
Make sure you take precautions to keep you and your kids safe this year. Understand the dangers, and use these helpful tips from experts in the field of child safety.
Halloween Safety Tips for Parents and Guardians of Trick-or-Treaters
- Avoid masks, which can obstruct vision
- Avoid dark clothing, which can be hard to see for passing motorists
- Have children carry glow sticks or flashlights and fasten reflective tape to their costumes and bags
- A responsible adult should accompany young children on the neighborhood rounds
- Cross the street at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks.
- Teach children to make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them.
- Always walk on sidewalks or paths. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible. Children should walk on direct routes with the fewest street crossings.
- Instruct children to travel only in familiar, well-lit areas and stick with their friends
- To keep homes safe for visiting trick-or-treaters, parents should remove from the porch and front yard anything a child could trip over such as garden hoses, toys, bikes and lawn decorations
- Children and adults are reminded to put electronic devices down, keep heads up and walk, don’t run, across the street
Halloween Safety Tips for Motorists
- Slow down and be especially alert in residential neighborhoods. Children are excited on Halloween and may move in unpredictable ways.
- Take extra time to watch for children walking on roadways, medians, and curbs
- Enter and exit driveways and alleys slowly and carefully
- Anticipate heavy pedestrian traffic and turn your headlights on earlier in the day to spot children from greater distances
- Discourage new, inexperienced drivers from driving on Halloween