The candy bowl is stocked. The jack o’ lanterns are carved. The costumes are ready and the anticipation of Halloween is in full effect. Whether or not you and your family have been enjoying the many fall festivals, you can’t really escape the hype that goes into Halloween. Neighborhoods all over the country are gearing up for a night to remember with thousands of pounds of sugar to distribute; but everyone should also remember the safety concerns that surround such a spookily busy night.
According to Safe Kids Worldwide, twice as many child pedestrians are killed while walking on Halloween compared to any other day of the year. There is no costume or trick that is more frightful than a child being injured or killed. It is imperative that parents take an extra step in making sure that their children are seen when roaming through the neighborhood in search of chocolate and other treats. Unfortunately, only 18% of parents place a reflective type tape or belt on their child each year for Halloween. Even more frightful is that 12% of children, age five or younger, are trick-or-treating alone without any parental supervision. Finally, while three-fourths (75%) of our population are fearful of safety issues on Halloween, only one-third (33%) of parents actually have a discussion about safety with their kids.
There are four (4) important safety tips each parent should discuss with their superhero or princess before heading out the door on October 31st:
- Any child under the age of 12 should be with an adult and should never be allowed to cross a street without an adult.
- Stay on the sidewalk or path. If there is not a path, walk on the side of the road facing traffic while walking as far away from the roadway as possible.
- Only cross streets on the corners. Always use the proper traffic signals to inform drivers that they should be stopped or yielding to pedestrians. Be sure to remind kids that drivers who are backing-up or turning have a more difficult time seeing pedestrians.
- For all drivers – SLOW DOWN! Halloween is highly anticipated and many kids are running throughout the neighborhood. Be a defensive driver and never assume a child will stay on one path.
And lastly, when speaking to your children about safety and traffic, make sure that they remain communicative with you. If you or your children witness any suspicious activity, notify law enforcement immediately. From everyone at Kaine Law, we wish you and your family a safe and Happy Halloween!