This week all across Kentucky, children are getting costumes ready for one of their all-time favorite holidays. Halloween is on Monday, and trick-or-treating and other community events are planned over the upcoming weekend and through Monday night. It’s important to remember Halloween safety as you send your pirates, witches, ghosties, and ghoulies out to festivities.
Children are more than twice as likely to be injured in a pedestrian accident on Halloween than on any other day or night throughout the year. With millions of children trick-or-treating in the early evening and into the night, the dangers are high for many reasons. Children’s costumes may make it difficult for them to see clearly, but dark costumes may also make it hard for drivers to see them. In popular trick-or-treating neighborhoods, pedestrians forget the streets are not closed and tend to cross wherever they are instead of looking for marked crossing areas. Drivers may also become frustrated with the amount of foot traffic and make foolish decisions that endanger those on sidewalks or streets.
Halloween also poses additional risks due to adult parties and those who choose to drive drunk afterward. Add together darkness, unpredictable and excited children, visibility issues, and alcohol, and you have a real danger to those who are out simply celebrating the holiday. Halloween safety relies upon the involvement of responsible adults.
Parents Play a Huge Role in Keeping Children Safe on Halloween
The riskiest time for young trick-or-treaters is between 4 p.m. and 10 p.m., but accidents can occur anytime of the day or night. There are ways to help ensure your child has a fun but safe time while out collecting treats. First and foremost, no child under 12 should be trick-or-treating without a grown-up. Though many parents believe sending younger children out with older children is an acceptable option, we urge caution in this approach. Older children are prone to the same excitement and distraction that younger children are and can easily lose track of their charges. Parent involvement is key to preventing serious injuries to children during Halloween.
Other Halloween safety tips are similar to those suggested to pedestrians in any setting:
- Avoid crossing in unexpected locations. Teach your children to use crosswalks and to ensure drivers see them before crossing.
- Darting out into the street is a major danger, as is walking out to cross the road from between two parked cars. Even older children can be hard to see between two cars.
- Be cautious with costume selection, and if your child is wearing a dark costume, use glowsticks, flashlights, reflective tape, or other light up items so that drivers can see them. These items are easy to find around Halloween time for exactly this purpose.
- It is critical that children are able to see their surroundings and there is no risk of sudden loss of visibility due to a poorly fitted or designed mask.
- Becoming distracted in or near traffic can be deadly. If your child is taking an electronic device out with them, it’s important to be clear about when and where they should use the devices.
As parents, we want to protect our children from all harm. Despite knowing it isn’t possible, we all do our absolute best to keep them safe. If your child is injured on Halloween or any other time due to another’s wrongdoing, the attorneys at Rhoads & Rhoads will be at your side to ensure they are cared for in the best way possible. Call us today for a completely FREE initial consultation: 888-709-9329.