Halloween is a great time for children. They receive free candy, dress up in whimsical costumes, play tricks by scaring friends, and attend a variety of Halloween events all designed to make a child happy. Did we forget anything? Oh yes, they get to enjoy candy apples, cotton candy, caramel apples, popcorn balls, and many more treats that parents usually limit during other times of the year.
Injuries Can Quickly Turn Halloween Truly Terrifying
Halloween is a dangerous time for children, even though it is one of the most beloved holidays for children. Below are some chilling Halloween injury facts involving children:
- Walking on Halloween can be extremely dangerous for children. There are twice as many pedestrian deaths on Halloween involving children than any other day of the year.
- October 2017 ranked second for the number of motor vehicle deaths during any other month in the year with 3,700 vehicle-related fatalities.
- Only 18 percent of parents will use reflective tape as part of their child’s Halloween costume to help increase visibility for motorists. In addition, 12 percent of children who are five years of age or younger are allowed to trick-or-treat without an adult.
- Roughly 40 percent of parents allow their child to wear costumes with unsafe items that could result in an injury.
Halloween Trick-or-Treat Safety Tips
Before you take your little ghosts, ghouls, princesses, and superheroes trick-or-treating, you should discuss pedestrian safety rules to help reduce the chance that your child could be injured. Some of the Halloween pedestrian tips to remember and practice include:
- Children who are under 12 years of age should always cross streets with an adult. Practice the rule of holding hands when crossing roads before Halloween night.
- Trick-or-treaters should always walk on sidewalks and pathways whenever possible. If there is no sidewalk, you should walk facing traffic as far to the side of the road as possible.
- Teach your children that even if they have the right-of-way at a crosswalk because of a traffic signal or sign, they must be careful to watch for cars that are turning.
- Make sure that an adult accompanies children during trick-or-treating, even when children are staying within their neighborhoods.
- If you do allow older children to trick-or-treat alone, make sure you set a firm time for children to return home. Planning a route for children to take can be extremely helpful if you need to find your children during the evening for any reason.
- Children should not eat any treats until they return home and their parents check the treats.
- Carry a flashlight when trick-or-treating to help see where you are going and avoid tripping hazards.
Halloween Costume Safety
Costume safety is another concern for parents on Halloween.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) offers several tips for parents to reduce the risk of injury because of unsafe Halloween costumes.
- Use reflective tape on costumes, trick-or-treat bags, and pumpkins to help increase visibility for drivers.
- Always look for tags and labels that indicate the costume or accessories are flame resistant.
- If a costume has an accessory such as a stick, sword, crown, knife, or shield, make sure that the accessory does not have any sharp edges.
- Avoid using masks when possible because masks can cause injuries and reduce visibility. Instead, opt for makeup, but test the makeup on a small patch a few days ahead of Halloween to ensure the child is not allergic to the ingredients in the makeup.
- Avoid using corrective lenses as part of the costume because they can cause serious eye injuries.
- If possible, choose costumes that are colorful and bright. Costumes should fit well and be short enough to avoid tripping hazards.
Motorists on Halloween
Motorists must also be extremely cautious on Halloween to avoid causing a tragic accident. If you are driving on Halloween, slow down when entering neighborhoods and areas where children might be present such as Halloween fairs and parties. You should also avoid all distractions while driving, especially any distraction that requires you to take your eyes off the road for even a few seconds.
When entering and exiting driveways or parking lots, check carefully and multiple times for children crossing behind or in front of your vehicle. For parents of teen drivers, you may want to restrict driving on Halloween night for inexperienced drivers.
** The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has much more information about Halloween safety on its websites that can be immensely helpful in preventing injuries to children on Halloween. **
Contact a Houston Child Injury Attorney if Your Child is Injured
The Houston child injury lawyers of Weycer Law Firm want to help you seek justice for yourself and your child. For a free consultation, call (713) 668-4545. You may also use the chat feature on our website for information 24/7.