It’s the spookiest time of the year! Many people call Halloween their favorite holiday; with fun decorations and creepy ambiance, grinning jack o’ lanterns, and plenty of sweet treats (candy and pumpkin spice anyone?) it’s no wonder! Certainly, it is an exciting time for kids, when they can dress up in fun costumes and collect treats from generous neighbors.
Despite all the excitement, Halloween also comes with its own set of risks. The reasons are lack of visibility, increased pedestrian traffic, and inattentiveness of drivers.
Kids and Costume Safety
One of the best parts of Halloween is choosing a costume! To kids, there is little more to consider than what the costume looks like. When it comes to safety, adults have a bit more to worry about when helping little ones (or themselves!) select a costume. Make sure your costumes meet these criteria before you head out to that party or trick-or-treat:
- All commercially purchased costumes should be fire resistant. If you are compiling a costume from items from around the home or a thrift store, ensure these components are fire resistant as well.
- Masks can obstruct vision. Try to avoid costumes that utilize these. If you do opt for a mask, check the range of vision to ensure that children will not miss safety hazards, or walk into the roadway by mistake.
- If your child will be walking around at night, fasten reflective tape to their costume to ensure drivers can see them. Alternately, let them carry glow sticks for a fun, eerie touch that will also increase visibility. Flashlights are also a must!
Halloween on the roads can be dangerous for kids. Children are three times as likely to be killed by a car on Halloween than any other day of the year, according to the Washington Post. Extra caution goes a long way towards preventing a tragedy.
- Young children should always be accompanied by a responsible adult. If older children intend to trick-or-treat alone, they should approve their intended route with an adult. Everyone should have an agreed upon time that trick-or-treaters should be home by.
- Trick-or-treaters should know to only travel in well-lit areas that are familiar to them, and only in the group they intend to stay with. Never wander off alone!
- Let children know they should not snack while they are trick-or-treating. They should wait until they arrive home, so an adult can check their treats over.
- Bring a flashlight! At least one person in every group should have a flashlight. This will help be more visible to drivers as well as being able to light your way as you make your way around the neighborhood.
- Adults and children alike should remember to keep their attention on their surroundings, not on their phones!
- Most importantly, make sure children are visible at night. Every child should carry a flashlight, have reflectors or reflective tape on their costumes, and glowsticks.
For Drivers on Halloween
- Slow down! On Halloween, drivers should decrease speed as a precaution, especially in neighborhoods, and pay greater attention.
- Keep your eyes open for children in costumes on the road, especially after dark!
- Watch out for children who have crossed into the median, or might be walking on the curb. Remember, they may have compromised visibility from masks and costume pieces. Just because you can see them does not necessarily mean they will see you.
- Exit driveways and take turns with extra caution. A distracted ghoul could wander into your path.
Happy Halloween from Steven A. Bagen and Associates! Contact us if we can help you understand your rights regarding an injury you have sustained. Your consultation is free!