Halloween is one of the most thrilling holidays – both for kids and for adults! Playing dress-up is always entertaining, and free candy is even better. However, safety must come first, and, as was the case last Halloween, you may need to consider social distancing in addition to traffic, visibility, and costume safety. To keep this holiday on a positive note, a little preparation and caution when trick-or-treating may help maintain a safe Halloween season for everyone.
Halloween is a fun season to let out your creativity and socialize with friends. However, the holiday poses significant safety hazards. On Halloween, children are twice as likely than on other nights of the year to be hit by a car. Burns and wounds are very common during Halloween, and there are also issues caused by consuming too much sugar.
According to the National Highway Safety Administration, From 2012 to 2016, approximately 44% of people that were killed in car crashes on Halloween night were killed by drunk drivers. 14% of pedestrians were killed in these crashes. This means that Halloween trick-or-treaters are especially at risk during Halloween night.
Here’s an easy Halloween safety guide for drivers and trick or treaters:
Every parent wants their kids to stay safe during Halloween night. On Halloween, children are twice as likely as any other night of the year to be killed in a motor vehicle collision. Every year, about 4,000 Halloween-related injuries occur in the United States. Eighty-two percent of parents do not include any visibility aids on their child’s costume.
While drivers hold the majority of the responsibility for protecting children’s safety on Halloween, there are steps that parents and trick-or-treaters can take to protect themselves.
- Teach your kids to put down their electronic gadgets and keep their heads up as they walk across the street. Discourage them from running as much as possible. Before crossing in front of a driver, make eye contact with them.
- Tell your kids to look left and right before crossing a road and watch out for approaching vehicles. Before crossing in front of a driver, tell them to make eye contact with the driver before proceeding to ensure that the driver saw them first.
- Always use sidewalks or walkways when walking. If there are no sidewalks, walk as far to the left as possible while facing traffic. Children should take the shortest possible path with the fewest street crossings.
- Keep an eye out for cars that are turning or backing up. Teach your youngsters not to run out into the street or cross between parked cars.
- Encourage your children to carry glow sticks or flashlights. This will make them more visible to drivers, lowering their risk of getting hit by a car.
- Children under the age of 12 should not be left alone at night unless supervised by an adult. If your children are old enough to go out without supervision, they should stick to well-lit, familiar areas and trick-or-treat in groups.
- Visibility is the key to avoiding car accidents at night. Incorporate reflective tape in your children’s costumes. The reflective tape will glow in the beam of a car’s headlights to boost visibility at night. You may use candy bags in the same way. Reflective tape is commonly found at hardware, bicycle, and sports goods stores.
- Tie hats and scarves tightly to prevent them from falling over children’s eyes and obscuring their eyesight. The same is valid with masks. Make sure the masks have appropriate ventilation and eye slits that allow for full vision.
Safety Tips For Drivers
To help keep our young trick-or-treaters safe, drivers can use these simple safety suggestions:
- Avoid any distractions. This means you must put your phone down or turn your music down if you also have to.
- Do not drive while you are intoxicated or impaired under ANY circumstance.
- When driving through residential areas on Halloween, be extra cautious because children may be overly thrilled and end up moving in unanticipated ways.
- Keep a close watch on children near crossroads, in the middle of streets, and on the edges of sidewalks.
- Slowly and carefully make your way into and out of driveways and alleys.
- Keep a moderate speed, be aware of oncoming pedestrians, and use your headlights earlier in the day to see children better.
- Halloween trick-or-treating is most popular from 5:30 to 9:30 pm, so be on the lookout for children around that time.
For People Staying at Home and Welcoming Trick-or-Treaters
- Make your home safe for trick-or-treaters by removing tripping risks. Keep the porch and front yard free of garden hoses, toys, bikes, and lawn decorations that could trip a child.
- Replacing burned-out bulbs in outside lighting is a good idea.
- Sweep damp leaves off of steps and sidewalks to keep people from slipping and falling.
- Do not let your pets attack trick-or-treaters.
Halloween should be a fun time for everyone! To avoid any accidents, make sure to follow the tips from above and have a safe and fun Halloween!