The Scary Truth: Kids are 4x More Likely to Be Hit By a Car on Halloween.
We are diligent about teaching children Halloween safety when it comes to taking candy from strangers, trick-or-treating in unfamiliar neighborhoods and not eating their candy until we’ve checked it out. But do you talk to them about safety on the streets while trick-or-treating? If not, you need to.
Some frightening statistics on Halloween safety
Children are more than twice as likely to be killed by a car on Halloween: And four times more likely to be hit. National Safety Council research found that kids darting into the road is one of the leading causes of pedestrian deaths or injuries, and kids aged 5 to 9 account for 70% of those accidents.
Drunken driving is a huge factor: Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that between 2009 and 2013, 43 percent of all motor vehicle deaths occurring on Halloween night resulted from a drunken driving-related crash.
Glow sticks lead to emergency room visits: Yes, they make kids visible to motorists, but Dr. Henry Spiller, director of the Central Ohio Poison Center at Nationwide Children’s, cites them in a US News report as a top cause for emergency room visits after ingesting the liquid inside.
How to make things less scary
Don’t let the stats get you down. Here are 9 safety tips for your kiddos to enjoy Halloween—safely:
1. Always accompany young kids
A parent or responsible adult should always accompany young children on the neighborhood rounds.
2. Plan your route
Avoid areas where the sidewalks are in poor condition, choose well-lit areas and minimize street crossings.
3. For older kids, review the route and rules
If your older children are going alone, plan and review the route that is acceptable, set ground rules (no going off route, no stopping at friends houses) and designate a curfew that you’ll enforce!
4. Use crosswalks
70% of Halloween pedestrian accidents occur outside of a crosswalk or crossing intersection. You’ll avoid much of the risk by crossing only in designated places.
5. Make sure kids are visible
If the kids are going to be out after dark, fasten reflective tape to their costumes and bags. Only use glow sticks on children old enough to understand the concerns with breaking them.
6. Look for the porch light
Only go to homes with a porch light on and never enter a home or car for a treat.
7. Don’t walk and text!
This goes for the kids and the grown-ups. Halloween is a time to be hyper-vigilant and aware of your surroundings.
8. Make eye contact with drivers
Don’t assume the driver sees you and will yield the right-of-way.
9. Walk, don’t run
It’s easy to get carried away with all the Halloween fun. Make sure your kids know the dangers of darting into the street during a game of chase.
Scared to Drive On Halloween? Don’t Be. Just Be Safe.
Being behind the wheel on Halloween can be frightening, too. Be sure to:
- 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
- Make eye contact with pedestrians—be sure they know you see them and are waiting for them to cross the street
Trick-or-treating is fun, whether it’s going door to door or at a community trunk or treat. Let’s keep it that way. Happy Halloween!