Key Points of This Article:
- Many Kentucky communities have decided Halloween trick-or-treating is still a go in 2020 for those who feel comfortable participating.
- 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.
- The riskiest time for young trick-or-treaters to be involved in a crash is between 4 p.m. and 10 p.m.
- The team at Rhoads & Rhoads would like to remind parents that practicing good Halloween safety is more important than ever this year as we are battling a pandemic and have seen an uptick in speed-related road crashes and pedestrian injuries.
Kentucky Families Can Help Create a Fun and Safe Halloween Experience For Kids
While traditional Halloween events such as trunk-or-treat, indoor costume parties, crowded haunted houses, and family festivals may be on hold due to COVID-19, some Western Kentucky communities are preparing new ways for kids to collect candy and celebrate the fun fall holiday. For example, in Owensboro, families are encouraged to trick-or-treat in small groups, mask up, and keep a distance from others. But being safe on Halloween also means looking out for hazards and dangers to young pedestrians. So before sending your Cinderellas, firefighters, and goblins out, take some time to review and share our annual tips for families, homeowners, and motor vehicle operators to put into action this Halloween night.
For Young Pedestrians and Families
Safe Kids Worldwide says children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween than on any other day of the year. Lack of visibility because of low lighting at night are contributing factors in these mostly preventable incidents.
- If your older children are going alone, plan and review a safe sidewalk and street crossing route acceptable to you.
- Whenever possible, instruct children to walk on the sidewalk; if no sidewalk is available, walk facing traffic.
- Follow the rules of the road, obeying all traffic signs and signals.
- If no crosswalk is available and your view is blocked, move to a place where you can see oncoming traffic.
- Look left, right, and left again before crossing the street, making eye contact with drivers of oncoming vehicles to make sure they see you.
- Teach your children never to enter a stranger’s home or car.
- Wear bright and/or reflective clothing, and use a flashlight at night.
- Watch for cars entering or exiting driveways or backing up in parking lots.
- Children younger than age 10 should always cross the street with an adult.
- Leave your bicycles at home.
Children and adults who are walking their trick-or-treat routes are also reminded to stay alert, put electronic devices down, avoid wearing earbuds, and don’t ever run or attempt to beat traffic when crossing a street.
For Motorists on Halloween Night
October ranks No. 2 in motor vehicle deaths by month. Halloween also poses additional risks due to adult parties and those who choose to drive impaired by drugs or alcohol. And when darkness, unpredictable and excited children, and distraction are mixed in, there is a real danger to those who are innocently celebrating.
- Don’t speed or run traffic lights.
- Watch for children walking on roadways, medians, and curbs.
- Enter and exit driveways and alleys carefully.
- At twilight and later in the evening, watch for children in dark clothing.
- Discourage new, inexperienced drivers from driving on Halloween.
- Impaired driving puts more than just the driver at risk for deadly crashes but also the people they share the road with. Never drive impaired.
Halloween safety relies upon the involvement of responsible adults as a majority of car and truck crashes can be prevented.
For Homeowners Looking to Keep Property Safe
Please help keep your community and personal property safe for children and their families this Halloween by taking a bit more time to address these homeowner hazards known to cause injury to trick-or-treaters.
- Keep your driveway, porch entrance or sidewalk well-lit to show the pathway to your door.
- Choose to light pumpkins with battery operated lights or a string of lights around the front porch.
- Clear a path in your yard and walkway and remove any obstructions, decorations, or hazards. Also, remove leaves and branches, potted plants, and hoses out of the yard and a safe distance from any walkways.
- Keep your pets in the house, and away from doors or open windows.
- Repair loose porch railings or stones that may pose a safety threat to trick-or-treaters.
Halloween should be fun. Responsible homeowners should work to identify hazards which may be in the way of young trick-or-treaters.
Avoid Dangerous Costumes
To help ensure adults and children have a safe holiday, the American Academy of Pediatrics has compiled a list of Halloween safety tips related to injuries caused by costumes and ‘dress up’ accessories. Some of those tips include, choosing an outfit that won’t be dangerous to little ones.
- Make sure your children can see safely through masks, and are not wearing outfits that may cause them to trip or fall.
- All costumes, wigs, and accessories should be fire-resistant.
- If children are allowed to be out after dark, fasten reflective tape to their costumes and bags, or give them glow sticks.
- When buying Halloween makeup, make sure it is nontoxic, has not been recalled, and always test it on a small area of skin first.
The COVID-19 pandemic calls for Halloween to look a bit different this year, but you can still have a good time by taking extra precautions. In Kentucky, the governor and state health officials have advised families to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines and the Green River Health Department to ensure your celebrations are safe.
Kentucky’s Top Personal Injury Law Firm
Despite knowing how difficult the task is, there is no doubt you are doing your absolute best to keep your children safe. But 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.
We offer free initial consultations which can be done virtually or facilitated under safe social distancing practices. All cases are taken on a contingency fee basis. Call us at 888-709-9329 to schedule your consultation.