How to be Safe on Halloween
Halloween is one of the most enjoyable and dangerous holidays of the year. Last year it is estimated that over 150 million people celebrated Halloween. Due to a combination of increased pedestrian traffic, alcohol use and night-time festivities, serious accidents are much more likey to occur.
According to the NHTSA’s most recent statistics on Halloween:
- 50% of pedestrians die from a drunk driving accident (33% on an average day).
- 28% of crash victim fatalities are pedestrians (14% on an average day).
- Approximately 20% of pedestrian fatalities on Halloween involve a drunk driver.
- Over 50% of pedestrian fatalities occur between 4pm and midnight.
- Less than one fifth of parents use reflective tape.
- Around 12% of children under five are allowed to go without adult supervision.
Tips to Stay Safe on Halloween
If you or your children are going out on Halloween night, make sure to stay safe and follow these safety tips. Whether you are walking or driving, there is plenty you can do to be safe. Make sure to do the following:
- Be extremely cautious while driving during peak trick-or-treat times, beginning in the late afternoon hours extending into the late evening hours.
- Be mindful of pedestrians, especially in residential areas, and maintain a slow speed at all times.
Watch out for any passersby when pulling out of a driveway or parking spot.
- Never pass parked vehicles, which could be dropping off or picking up children.
- If you are attending or hosting a party where alcohol is being served, arrange transportation ahead of time to eliminate the possibility of drunk driving.
- Children of all ages should be supervised by an adult.
- Make sure that everyone is clothed in something that reflects light so that drivers can see you on and around roadways.
- Be especially mindful of pedestrian safety when walking with children. This means always walk on sidewalks, cross at designated crossings and look both ways before crossing a street.
- Avoid distraction while walking. Put away phones and mobile devices while walking alongside any roadway.
- Thoroughly inspect all foods and candies given to your children. Wait until children are home to sort and check treats.
- If your child has food allergies, inspect all treats for the presence of items that your child is allergic to.
- Look for candies and foods that might cause a young child to choke, such as gum, hard candy or small toys.
- Cross the street at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks.
- Look left, right and left again when crossing and keep looking as you cross.
- Teach children to make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them.
- Always walk on sidewalks or paths. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible.
- Decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers and, if possible, choose light colors.
- Choose face paint and makeup whenever possible instead of masks, which can obstruct a child’s vision.
- Have kids carry glow sticks or flashlights to help them see and be seen by drivers.
- When selecting a costume, make sure it is the right size to prevent trips and falls.
- Slow down and be especially alert in residential neighborhoods. Children are excited on Halloween and may move in unpredictable ways.
- Take extra time to look for kids at intersections, on medians and on curbs.
- Enter and exit driveways and alleys slowly and carefully.
- Eliminate any distractions inside your car so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings.
- Never cut across yards.
- If a sword, cane, or stick is a part of your child’s costume, make sure it is not sharp or long. A child
may be easily hurt by these accessories if he stumbles or trips.
- Do not use decorative contact lenses without an eye examination and a prescription from an eye care
- Small children should never carve pumpkins. Children can draw a face with markers. Then parents can do
- Consider using a flashlight or glow stick instead of a candle to light your pumpkin. If you do use a
candle, a votive candle is safest.
- Candlelit pumpkins should be placed on a sturdy table, away from curtains and other flammable objects.
- To keep homes safe for visiting trick-or-treaters, parents should remove from the porch and front yard
anything a child could trip over such as garden hoses, toys, bikes and lawn decorations.
- Parents should check outdoor lights and replace burned-out bulbs.
- Wet leaves or snow should be swept from sidewalks and steps.
- Restrain pets so they do not inadvertently jump on or bite a trick-or-treater.
- Try to ration treats for the days and weeks following Halloween.