There is a lot of Halloween fun in Philadelphia and Bucks County. While most parents and children are focused on everything there is to do, we all need to focus on keeping our kids safe. Make sure you check out these Halloween safety tips before heading out.
Why are these tips so important?
Halloween is one of the most dangerous holidays for children. According to Safe Kids Worldwide, more than double the number of young pedestrians dies in car accidents on Halloween than on any other day of the year.
The good news is that these accidents are preventable, if motorists remain aware of the risks. However, knowing the risks is not enough.
Parents can also take certain precautions to keep their children safe on Halloween. This includes:
Ensuring Costumes Are Visible
At the center of the Halloween fun for many children is dressing up as their favorite character, animal, or real-life hero. While your children probably want to choose their own costumes, it is imperative that parents play a role in this process by encouraging a costume that enhances visibility.
When it comes to trick-or-treating — especially after dark — the rule is that the brighter costume is always better. Costumes that are bright in color will help to make sure that drivers can see your child on Halloween night.
Superheroes, firefighters, and cartoon characters are popular options, and there tend to be a number of naturally bright costumes on the market for these choices. Costumes that include lights are also a good choice.
If your child insists on being a character who dresses in dark colors — you can add strips of reflective tape to the costume, treat bag, and other accessories.
It is also a good idea to carry a flashlight and glow sticks after dark. Any source of light makes your child more visible to motorists. Do not forget to wear bright colors and use reflective tape on your own clothing, even if you are not wearing a costume for the occasion.
Dressing Children in Safe Costumes
In addition to ensuring children wear costumes that motorists can see after dark, it is important to make sure your child’s costume does not impede their ability to see, hear, or walk freely. Costumes that are too large or too small may prevent children from moving out of the way of an oncoming car.
When possible, skip the masks. Masks may block peripheral vision, preventing them from seeing a vehicle before crossing the street. Choosing a properly fitting, safe costume also reduces the risk of trips and falls during trick-or-treating.
Reinforcing Safe Pedestrian Behavior
While you should teach your children how to obey pedestrian signals, use crosswalks and other safe ways to cross the road year-around, Halloween offers a perfect opportunity to reinforce these behaviors and put their skills to use.
Before heading out, review with all children the importance of looking both ways before they cross the street, and remind young children to wait for an adult before stepping out into the roadway. Many parents establish family rules such as “always hold a parent’s hand when crossing the street” that also play an important role in these discussions.
Supervising Young Children or Trick-or-Treating in Groups
The combination of excited young children and potentially distracted motorists is already risky enough, but many parents put their children at an increased risk because they fail to supervise trick-or-treating youngsters. According to Safe Kids Worldwide, an astounding 12 percent of parents allow children under the age of five to trick-or-treat alone.
For their safety, it is imperative to accompany younger children while they are trick-or-treating, and to make sure that even older children never go trick-or-treating alone. Your child should always approach a home with you, a sibling, a friend, or a group of other children by their side. Children are easier to spot in numbers, and trick-or-treating in groups increases safety. After all, they are approaching strangers’ homes, which can also be dangerous.
If there is some reason that you are unable to take your child trick-or-treating, enlist another trusted adult to supervise your child or schedule a time for your family to celebrate the holiday at one of the many Bucks County Halloween attractions.
Cordisco & Saile LLC Represents Pedestrian Accident Victims
Pedestrian accidents are more prevalent than you might think. If you or a family member suffered injuries in a Pennsylvania pedestrian accident, contact the personal injury lawyers at Cordisco & Saile LLC for a free consultation to learn about just compensation. Call us today at 215-642-2335 to discuss your legal options.