For many kids, Halloween is one of their favorite holidays. Not only do they get to dress up in fun costumes, they also get to go house-to-house collecting candy.
For Florida parents, though, Halloween can be kind of scary.
Pumpkin carving can cause injuries to hands and fingers. The candles that you use to light up jack-o’-lanterns can cause fires and burn injuries. Certain costume props, when used incorrectly, can cause eye injuries. Costumes that are too long can cause falls. Too much candy can lead to stomachaches.
Then there are the horror stories about people putting dangerous things into their treats to hurt kids. For the most part, those are just old wives’ tales, but just the thought is terrifying.
The biggest danger, of course, has nothing to do with candy, costumes, or decorations. What is it? Drivers.
The Most Dangerous Part of Trick-or-Treating Is the Possibility of Getting Hit by a Car
According to Safe Kids USA, children are more than twice as likely to be killed by a car while walking on Halloween night than on any other day throughout the year.
On top of that, this year Halloween is on a Saturday. According to a report released by Alcohol Monitoring Systems, drinking violations increase by 4.5 times when Halloween falls on a Saturday compared with the average increase when Halloween falls on any other day.
Additionally, between 2009 and 2013, 43 percent of all Halloween motor vehicle fatalities were caused by a drunk driving-related accident, and in 2013, 26 percent of Halloween pedestrian fatalities involved a drunk driver.
As a parent, when you consider all of these statistics, it’s imperative that you not only discuss Halloween safety with your children, but that you also ensure they’ve taken the right safety precautions to avoid accidents and injuries.
With that in mind, here are a few Halloween safety tips to make sure your kids don’t get hurt when they head out to go trick-or-treating.
4 Halloween Safety Tips for Parents
Review pedestrian safety rules. Most pedestrian accidents do not occur in crosswalks, so make sure your kids know the right place and way to cross streets. Kids should be crossing streets only at street corners and should wait for the traffic signal to change, letting them know it’s safe to cross. In neighborhoods without traffic signals, they need to pay extra attention to the road, making sure they always look both ways before crossing.
Additionally, when walking, kids should use sidewalks to paths instead of walking in the street. If there aren’t any sidewalks, kids should walk facing traffic – so they can see what’s coming – and as far to the side of the road as possible.
Watch out for masks. Kids need to be able to see where they’re going and pay attention to what’s happening around them. While a Halloween mask might be a crucial element to your child’s costume, if the mask obstructs or limits their sight, they shouldn’t wear it while walking. Consider a different mask or an alternative to complete your child’s costume, or tell them they need to remove the mask between houses.
Use reflective tape on your child’s costume. Twilight, the hour between 6:00 and 7:00 p.m., can be especially dangerous for trick-or-treaters because it’s difficult for drivers to see kids crossing the street. Night isn’t much better for trick-or-treaters.
Use reflective tape to help make your child as visible as possible to drivers so they can avoid a crash.
Supervise young children. If your child is under 12, you should go trick-or-treating with them and hold their hand when they cross the street. Not only will this keep them safe, but it will also teach them proper Halloween safety for when they eventually start trick-or-treating by themselves.
Halloween is a fun holiday for kids, but it can also be a dangerous time if you don’t practice safety precautions. Make sure your kid is safe this Halloween, and in the event that they are injured in a pedestrian accident, reach out to an experienced Florida child injuries lawyer as soon as possible.
About the Author:
Andrew Winston is a partner at the personal injury law firm of Winston Law. For over 20 years, he has successfully represented countless people in all kinds of personal injury cases, with a particular focus on child injury, legal malpractice, and premises liability. He has been recognized for excellence in the representation of injured clients by admission to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, is AV Preeminent Rated by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, enjoys a 10.0 rating by AVVO as a Top Personal Injury Attorney, has been selected as a Florida “SuperLawyer” from 2011-2017 – an honor reserved for the top 5% of lawyers in the state – and was voted to Florida Trend’s “Legal Elite” and as one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Florida and one of the Top 100 Lawyers in the Miami area for 2015, 2016, and 2017.