Children aren’t the only ones who enjoy dressing up, carving pumpkins and transforming the front lawn into a ghost-filled graveyard. While Halloween can be great fun for kids and grown-ups, the holiday can also be perilous, especially for young trick-or-treaters. According to the National Safety Council, children are more than twice as likely to be killed by a car on Halloween than on any other day of the year. Fortunately, there are steps everyone can take to enhance safety and avoid a tragic accident.
SCARY HALLOWEEN STATISTICS
The risk of a pedestrian death is 43 percent higher on Halloween than on nights during the weeks before and after October 31, according to a study in JAMA Pediatrics, a monthly publication of the American Medical Association. Four additional pedestrians died on the average Halloween, the majority of which were children.
The study, which was based on 42 years of data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, showed children between the ages of four and eight were 10 times as likely to be killed on Halloween. The most dangerous time was between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m., with the highest risk around 6 p.m.
10 WAYS TO KEEP KIDS SAFE ON HALLOWEEN
- Children should be able to see and be seen. Attach reflective tape to the front and back of kids’ costumes or have them carry glow sticks or flashlights. Choose hats and masks that provide good ventilation and do not obstruct vision.
- Make sure all costumes, wigs and accessories are made of fire-resistant materials. Shorten costumes that may pose a tripping hazard and avoid hazardous props with pointy or sharp edges.
- Trick-or-treaters under 12 should be accompanied by a parent, a responsible older sibling or another trusted adult.
- Remind older children to stay with their friends instead of going off alone. Ask them to keep you informed of their whereabouts and what time they will be home.
- Teach children of all ages never to enter a stranger’s home or vehicle. If they encounter anyone who looks or acts suspicious, instruct them to leave the area and inform an adult or call the police.
- Instruct kids to refrain from eating their treats before you can inspect everything thoroughly at home.
- Take kids trick-or-treating in neighborhoods with sidewalks and adequate lighting if possible.
- Teach children to cross streets at corners or intersections, using crosswalks when available. Remind them to watch for cars that are turning or backing out of driveways.
- Children and grown-ups should refrain from using cell phones, headphones or other distracting devices while walking.
- Avoid alcohol when supervising children, whether indoors or outside. Drinking or using drugs can impair judgment and reflexes, making it difficult to react quickly in the event of an emergency.
Recommended reading: Pedestrian Deaths Reach Record High Despite Fewer Accidents
10 SAFETY TIPS FOR HALLOWEEN DRIVERS
- Trick-or-treating can be exciting for children, so watch for youngsters darting in front of your car or running across the street.
- Turn headlights on earlier than usual to see children from greater distances.
- Be especially watchful for pedestrians at intersections, medians and curbs.
- Drive at a slower than normal speed, particularly in residential areas
- Use extra caution turning into or backing out of driveways.
- Avoid using cell phones or engaging in other distracting activities such as eating or programming a GPS while driving.
- Never drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs, including certain prescription medications that may impair the ability to drive safely.
- Avoid driving on Halloween if you are a new or inexperienced driver.
- Slow down and use extra caution when approaching a crosswalk.
- Be ready to stop in an instant if necessary by remaining alert and reducing speed.
FIND A HALLOWEEN HAPPENING IN YOUR LOCAL MICHIGAN COMMUNITY
There are Halloween events and activities across the state, including group trick-or-treat festivities, haunted houses and enchanted forests. Here are just a few examples.
Halloween in the D provides free activities at police precincts, fire stations and recreation centers throughout the city for trick-or-treaters of all ages in Detroit and surrounding areas.
Western Michiganders in Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo and counties from Allegan to Van Buren can find an abundance of Halloween events and activities for kids and adults.
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We hope everyone has a safe and fun-filled Halloween that includes creative costumes and plenty of delicious treats. However, if you or a loved one is injured in an auto accident, we can help. Our knowledgeable legal team knows what it takes to win your case, and we have the expertise and resources to make sure you receive the compensation you and your family deserve.
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