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Halloween Safety Tips

October 27th, 2011 by

Halloween is almost here. Time for costumes, pumpkins, candy, and safety.

The real danger of this night isn’t from goblins, ghosts, or eating too much candy. Sadly, it comes from drivers hitting trick or treaters, as these young children make their rounds collecting Halloween candy. During 1975-1996, between the prime trick or treating hours of 4:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. on any October 31, childhood pedestrian deaths increased fourfold among children on Halloween evenings when compared with all other evenings of any given year.

Part of the challenge of keeping kids safe on Halloween, and all other days and nights, is their size. Young children don’t have the ability to cross streets quickly, and drivers have trouble seeing smaller children. Masks and costumes make it hard for kids to see their surroundings and dark clothing and costumes make it harder for drivers to see trick or treaters.

Another challenge is experience. Young children don’t evaluate traffic threats effectively and can’t anticipate driver behavior.

Children may believe that they are protected from harm as long as they are in a painted crosswalk or that they, thanks to their costume, posses the powers of a superhero or fairy, and can stop traffic and danger or make it go away.

Please make this Halloween, and every moment your kids are pedestrians, safe for you and your family. Here are some safety tips from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and the National SAFE KIDS Campaign.

Safety Tips for Halloween Pedestrian Safety

  • Parents should establish a route for children in a known neighborhood.
  • Children should use flashlights, stay on sidewalks, and avoid crossing yards.
  • Children should cross streets at the corner (using crosswalks when they exist) and not between parked cars.
  • Children should stop at all corners and stay together in a group before crossing.
  • Motorists should drive slowly, watch for children in the street and on medians, and exit driveways and alleyways carefully.
  • Children should wear clothing that is bright, reflective, and flame retardant.
  • Children should consider using face paint instead of masks, or should wear masks that are well-fitting with eye- and ear-holes that do not obscure sight or hearing; children should not wear floppy hats or hats that will slide over their eyes.
  • To reduce the likelihood of tripping, children should not wear long, baggy, or loose costumes or oversized shoes.

Here’s wishing you and yours a ghoulishly fun and safe Halloween!

Robert M. Cohen

Attorney at Law

Walker & Walker Attorney Network at 1-800-THE-LAW2

The information within the blog is not to be construed as legal advice.

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