For kids, Halloween is all about costumes, candy, and trick-or-treating. Unfortunately, though, Halloween also is one of the most dangerous days of the year for pedestrians—especially for children and teenagers walking the streets while trick-or-treating. In fact, according to Safe Kids Worldwide, a global organization dedicated to preventing child injuries, “on average, children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a vehicle and killed on Halloween than on any other day of the year.”
Don’t let that startling fact keep you from taking your kids trick-or-treating this Halloween. Just make sure you are aware of Halloween safety tips. Supervise children younger than 12 while trick-or-treating at night, recommends Safe Kids Worldwide. Children and teens who are deemed mature enough to be without supervision should stick to familiar areas and travel in groups.
Also teach your children and teens to take basic safety precautions and ensure that they pay attention to their surroundings, and you can rest assured that they’ll avoid potential mishaps whether they’re with you or with their friends.
Follow these Halloween safety tips:
- Cross the street only at well-lit street corners and using traffic signals and crosswalks wherever possible.
- Never cross a street from between parked cars or between cars stopped at a traffic light.
- Look both ways and continue to be on the lookout before you cross any street.
- Eliminate electronic distractions as you are crossing streets. In other words, put your smart phones away!
- “Make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them,” advises Safe Kids Worldwide.
- Walk on sidewalks or designated paths whenever possible. If there are none, walk facing traffic, and keep off the road as much as possible.
- Be aware of traffic that could be coming from any direction, including cars backing out of or pulling into driveways.
- Carry glow sticks or a flashlight so that you can see where you’re going and so drivers can see you.
Make Costumes Safe
- Use reflective tape or stickers on your costume or choose light colors to make yourself more visible to motorists.
- Avoid wearing face masks that obscure your vision. Safe Kids Worldwide recommends opting for face paint and makeup instead.
- Don’t wear costumes that are too big or that drag on the ground and could potentially cause you to trip and fall.
A few words of caution are warranted for both teenage and adult drivers out and about on Halloween as well:
- Drive cautiously through residential neighborhoods, and be on the lookout for children in the streets and on sidewalks and curbs. “Children are excited on Halloween and may move in unpredictable ways,” according to Safe Kids Worldwide.
- Keep your eyes peeled for children who may be wearing dark clothing.
- “Drive at least 5 mph below the posted speed limit to give yourself extra time to react to children who may dart into the street,” advises AAA.
- Turn on your vehicle’s headlights—even if it’s not dark yet—to make it easier to spot pedestrians and for them to see you coming.
- Be especially careful when entering or exiting a driveway or alley.
For additional Halloween safety tips, visit SafeKids.org.
Halloween is supposed to be spooky, but there’s nothing scarier than the thought of your child being injured. While Smallwood and Small can’t guarantee that an accident won’t happen, of course, we can guarantee you the peace of mind of knowing that you and your family members will be covered financially if one of you is hurt or killed.
Contact us today to learn more about our life, disability, health, and auto insurance policies. Call 304-263-3361 to talk to an agent at our office in Martinsburg, West Virginia, or call 304-229-7227 to reach our Inwood office.
Photo Credit: Giorgio Minguzzi. Licensed under CC BY 2.0