Trick-or-treating on Halloween is a favorite American pastime for kids, but it is certainly not without its dangers. Poisoning from tampered treats, child abduction, and falls are some of the common concerns.
But the greatest risk on Halloween is that of pedestrian accidents. The risk of children getting struck and killed by a car is quadrupled on that particular night of the year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Injuries occur quite often, too. In fact, five percent of parents surveyed by Safe Kids Worldwide reported that their child had been hurt on a Halloween night.
Reducing Risk of Injury on Halloween
As a parent, it is your job to ensure you have addressed all the hazards and concerns your child needs to be aware of before heading out for trick-or-treating. The best thing parents can do is ensure that a grown-up supervises the children all night.
Amazingly, 12 percent of parents say they have allowed their young children up to age five go trick-or-treating without adult supervision, according to Safe Kids Worldwide. Although this statistic may reflect younger children who travel with their older siblings, it is vital to ensure your child has adult supervision on Halloween night, as teens can become easily distracted.
While the risk of poisoning is slim, of course, you still want to thoroughly inspect your child’s candy bag before giving him or her free reign.
To reduce the risk of falls, burns, and pedestrian injuries, make sure that the costume your child selects does not impose unnecessary risk. The costume should fit well and not drag on the ground that can increase the likelihood of tripping and falling. If the costume includes a mask, make sure it does not impede your child’s vision. Also, there shouldn’t be any sharp props, such as swords, sticks, or canes; only plastic, flexible, or blunt items.
Tips to Keep Your Child Safe from Cars
Given that pedestrian accidents are the primary concern, road safety should be one of your key areas of focus to for keeping your kids safe this Halloween.
- Plan your route in advance. It is safer when you are more familiar with the roads.
- Make your child as visible as possible. Put reflective tape on her or his goodie bag and opt for brightly colored costumes. Give your child glow sticks or a flashlight to carry, as well.
- Remind your child to watch for cars that are backing up or turning, and to look both ways several times before crossing.
- Walk with your child on the sidewalks or facing traffic.
- Cross the street at corners and sidewalks. Forbid jutting out and crossing the street without your okay. Children under age 12 really should not cross the street alone.
- Discuss safety with your kids prior to trick-or-treating every year. Review and reinforcement are necessary. “When it comes to childhood injury prevention, repeated and consistent messages are the keys to safety. [Our] research reveals that parents may be placing their children in harm’s way by failing to talk to them each and every year about Halloween safety,” explains Safe Kids Worldwide.
When Disaster Strikes on Halloween
If someone else causes your child harm on Halloween then, often, the only way to receive recompense from that person is to hire an attorney to fight for it. For an accident attorney in Pennsylvania, you are welcome to contact Cordisco & Saile LLC at 215-642-2335, and schedule a consult.