For kids, Halloween is a fun, sugar-filled holiday. For the police, medical professionals, and even attorneys, it is an anxiety-causing night. The number of accidents, injuries, and fatalities that occur on this night each year is significantly higher than many people realize – particularly for children.
It is up to parents and guardians to help ensure their children are safe so that they can enjoy the night.
Halloween Accident, Injury, and Fatality Statistics
If you don’t believe that this night is one of the most dangerous for kids out of the whole year, consider these statistics:
- Children are twice as likely to die on Halloween than any other day.
- Halloween is more deadly when it falls on a weekday.
- Intoxicated driving accounts for 44% of all vehicle-caused fatalities on October 31st.
- The most children’s pedestrian fatalities occur between 6 PM and 7 PM.
Now that you see the numbers, it should be clear how dangerous this night could be. At Fetterman Law, we understand the devastating effect of losing a child or having them suffer a serious injury. With help from our personal injury lawyer, we can help hold the responsible party accountable for the damages they caused.
However, we also encourage parents, guardians, and everyone else to take steps to ensure the safety of everyone on Halloween. Here, you can find some tips to help you prevent accidents and keep your loved ones (and others) safe.
1. Create a Safe and Visible Costume
Decorate your child’s costume and candy bucket or bag with reflective materials, flashing lights, and bright colors. When you do this, it makes them more visible to drivers, which helps to prevent an accident.
It is also smart to use face paint instead of a mask. If your child wears a mask, their vision may be obstructed. If this happens, it can make it hard for them to see oncoming vehicles or other dangers.
When selecting a costume, find one that is flame-resistant. Don’t choose costumes that are too long or may cause your child to trip and fall.
2. Go Over Pedestrian Safety Rules with Your Child
Before you leave to trick-or-treat, you should remind your child of the rules to stay safe. They should always pay attention to vehicles nearby and walk on the sidewalk or against traffic on the side of the road. This part of Halloween safety is often forgotten, but it is an important tip that can help prevent accidents and injuries.
It is also wise to pre-plan your trick-or-treating route. Choose a neighborhood you and your child are familiar with with plenty of streetlights. Go over where you will be going with your child before departing.
Remind your child they should always walk, not run, from house to house. They should only cross the street at crosswalks and look both ways. An adult should stay with them, as this will help prevent potential accidents.
3. Watch for Potential Hazards as You Move from House to House
Homeowners are responsible for keeping their property free of hazards. This is especially true on Halloween when they invite children to their property for sweet treats.
As you approach a house, consider if it is well-lit. If the lighting is poor, use a flashlight to walk up to the porch. If you don’t have a flashlight, it may be best to skip that house since you could be tripped on something you can’t see.
If you or your child has an accident while on someone’s property, and the property owner’s negligence caused the incident, it is possible to file a premise liability claim. However, it is necessary to provide evidence of negligence for your claim to be successful.
4. Use Caution During Pumpkin Carving Activities
Tripping and falling are one of the top causes of Halloween-related injuries. The first is pumpkin carving. You may be tempted to use a sharp knife to carve a pumpkin, but this is not the best option if you have small children.
A better option is to use the plastic tools sold with carving kits. Make sure you carve the pumpkin in a well-lit area, too. If your children will carve the pumpkin, provide plenty of supervision.
5. Drive Carefully
If you do not plan to go trick-or-treating, you may still go out on Halloween night. If you do, make sure to drive cautiously. Many people choose to drink and drive on Halloween. This holiday has the second-highest number of intoxicated drivers on the road, just behind New Year’s Eve.
However, even sober, you need to use caution. Children are often below the vehicle’s line of sight. You must actively look for them to ensure the road is clear. No one wants to be involved in a devastating accident, so taking a few extra seconds to ensure the coast is clear is well worth it.
6. Check Your Child’s Treats
It only takes a few minutes to look through your child’s treats. However, doing so may help you avoid a devastating outcome.
As you look through the treats, some things to check for include:
- Candy that is discolored or looks unusual
- Homemade items or treats
- Pinholes or tears in wrappers
A good rule regarding your kid’s treats is, “When in doubt, throw it out.”
7. Ready the Candy Labels Carefully
If your child has any food allergy or is still young and hasn’t eaten a large variety of foods, be sure to check what they are eating before they consume it. Taking a chance on a new food is never a good idea unless you are home and have an EpiPen nearby. Even in that situation, if you are concerned your child may be allergic, it probably is not worth the risk.
Staying Safe and Enjoying Halloween
As you can see, there are several tips you can use to help keep your child safe this Halloween. If the unthinkable happens, and you or your child are involved in an accident, contact us.
At Fetterman Law, we will review your case and help you file a claim. Our personal injury lawyers will advocate for your rights and negotiate to help you get the compensation you deserve.