With all the candy and costumes, it’s no wonder that Halloween is a favorite holiday among kids. But the holiday comes with some added risks. In fact, there’s a 43% higher risk of pedestrian deaths on Halloween.
Before you send your kids out the door on October 31st, take the time to review these Halloween safety tips.
PEDESTRIAN SAFETY ON HALLOWEEN
Go over these rules with your children before it’s time to trick-or-treat:
- Choose a route – and stick to it. For safety purposes, stick to well-known neighborhoods. Have a plan for the evening: where will your kids be walking, and when will they return? If your child owns a phone, consider using an app like “Find my Friends” to track them.
- Stay on sidewalks (if possible). If there are sidewalks, use them. Cross at crosswalks and use traffic signals. Make sure to look before crossing any street.
- Use the buddy system. Don’t send children out on their own. Know who will be in your child’s group. If the children are young, an adult should plan to go with.
- Be vigilant for drivers. Tell your kids that drivers can come from many places – on roads, down alleyways, out of driveways. Encourage them to make eye contact with drivers before crossing the street.
- Walk – don’t run! It may be tempting to get to that next house quick, but encourage your kids to slow down when it’s dark out.
Discussing these guidelines with your kids ahead of time will ensure a fun and safe night out.
SELECTING SAFE COSTUMES
When selecting your child’s costume, think of safety as well as creativity.
- Consider visibility. If possible, select a brightly colored, visible costume or add reflective tape. The more time drivers can see you, the more time they have to react.
- Ensure proper sizing. Avoid costumes that are too long and could cause trips.
- Opt for face paint instead of masks. Masks can block a child’s vision, which means they might miss seeing an oncoming car.
It’s a good idea to have your child try on their entire costume before Halloween. Can they move freely? Does any part of the costume block their vision? Should any alterations be made to make it safer?
DRIVING SAFETY ON HALLOWEEN
If you’re a driver on Halloween, keep these tips in mind.
- Children’s movements aren’t predictable. Don’t assume that kids will stay on sidewalks, look before they cross the street, or maintain their walking pace.
- Take particular care at peak hours. The most popular hours are between 5:30 and 9:30 on Halloween. Keep the headlights on, slow down, and drive distraction-free.
- Enter and exit driveways and alleyways with caution. Slow down even more than normal when backing out or making turns.
- Do not drive under the influence. This should go without saying, but please do not drink and drive.
If you have somewhere to be on Halloween night, give yourself extra time to get there. By doing so, you’ll get less frustrated by having to yield to the trick-or-treaters and less likely to speed.
We at Ladenburg Law would like to wish you a happy and safe Halloween!