Halloween Safety Tips for Parents, Children, and Teens
Here is a scary Halloween fact: On average, children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween than on any other day of the year. While Halloween is fun and exciting for everyone, it is also a dangerous time for pedestrians and drivers. This Halloween, it is important to have a serious discussion with children and teens about safety. Teach the following safety tips so everyone can have a delightfully, frightfully good time.
Cross the street safely
Going trick or treating? Studies show that evenings from 6pm to 9pm are the most dangerous times of day for child pedestrians. Choose the safest route for trick or treaters that has well-lit streets and sidewalks. Teach kids and teens these additional pedestrian safety tips:
- Look both ways before crossing the street
- Use traffic signals and crosswalks
- Always walk on a sidewalk. If no sidewalk is available, walk facing traffic
- Make eye contact with drivers
- Use the buddy system and travel in groups
- Do not cross between parked cars
- Always have a responsible adult or teen accompany young children under age 12
Practice good e-bike etiquette
Electric bicycles, also known as e-bikes, have become a popular mode of transportation, especially among teens. However, a growing number of serious and fatal accidents involving young riders have parents concerned with safety.
Just as you would on a regular bike, follow traffic signs and signals. Stop at red lights, ride on the right side of the road, and travel in the same direction as traffic. When riding when it is dark, turn on your headlights and wear reflective clothing. Visibility is extremely important and makes it easier for drivers to see you at night.
Wear a properly fitted costume
Costumes are the highlight of Halloween. Goblins, ghouls, vampires, and superheroes all come together for one night. However, do not ignore safety when choosing your child’s costume. Make sure it fits properly, does not drag, is flame retardant, and does not block their vision. Have kids wear comfortable walking shoes to go trick or treating. Do not use colored or decorative contact lenses, unless they were prescribed by an eye care professional. Decorative contact lenses can cause permanent vision loss.
Slow your speed
Speed plays a factor in almost every single road vehicle crash. The higher the speed, the more serious the injuries. Defensive driving is extremely important on Halloween, as is slowing your speed. Be on high alert for pedestrians, especially young children. Enter and exit driveways carefully, and turn on headlights to spot children from far away.
If you are a parent or guardian of a teen driver, inform them of the above tips and caution them to avoid an accident. Sign this parent-teen driving agreement. On holidays like Halloween, it is best for teen drivers to avoid driving altogether.
Distractions come in many forms – talking, texting, eating, and drinking to name a few. On Halloween, you may find yourself looking at Halloween decorations and trick or treaters – but keep your eyes on the road! Pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers can all be victims of distracted driving accidents, which cause thousands of injuries and deaths each year. Now is the time to educate kids and teens about the dangers of common distractions and remind them to put their cell phone down and be alert.
Go trick or treating before dark
As the nights grow darker earlier, poor visibility leads more accidents. According to the National Safety Council, 50% of traffic deaths happen at night, even though people drive much less at night. Drivers may find it harder to see pedestrians and bicyclists as they cross the road. Consider going trick or treating before the sun goes down to increase visibility. No matter what time you go out, stay in a group.
If you plan to trick or treat after dark, make sure you are visible. Carry a flashlight or glow sticks, or wear reflective tape on your costume. If you are driving at night, be careful when using headlights, as they can blind other drivers.
Keep pets safe and restrained
Don’t forget about your furry friends! Keep all candy and chocolate away from pets – chocolate contains theobromine and caffeine, both of which are toxic to dogs. Xylitol, which is an artificial sweetener found in certain candy, is also toxic for animals. While pumpkin is generally safe, consuming too much can make your pet sick and cause digestive issues.
Dog bites are also a big concern on Halloween. Kids ages 5 to 9 are at the highest risk for serious dog bite attacks. If you trick or treaters come to your house, keep your dog in a safe and secure place.
Pumpkin carving, but make it safe
Carving a pumpkin is a quintessential Halloween activity, but it can also mean a trip to the emergency room. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than half of emergency room visits on Halloween were related to pumpkin carving.
Never let children do the carving. Instead have them get their hands dirty while taking out the seeds or drawing silly faces on the pumpkin with permanent markers. Purchasing a pumpkin carving kit makes the whole process easier and simpler.
When lighting a jack-o-lantern, it is best to avoid using real candles. Use battery operated candles that still give that cool glow in the dark effect, but without the risk of starting a fire.
Were You in a Halloween Accident? Talk to a Lawyer.
The thrill of Halloween night comes from the fake frights, but when a genuine accident occurs, it spoils the fun. If you suffered a Halloween-related injury on the road, our personal injury lawyer may be able to help. The Law Offices of Daniel Kim is the leading personal injury law firm in Orange County representing victims of motor vehicle accidents.
We offer a completely free, zero risk consultation to ask you questions about your accident and find out how we can help. Call us at (800) 719-9779 or send us a message online.