Very soon, goblins, ghosts, and ghouls will take over the streets. Who doesn’t love to see the scary little creatures, brave superheroes, and precious princesses as they come to the door to say “trick-or-treat!”
Unfortunately, the fun on Halloween can quickly turn scary when people don’t observe basic safety. The CDC reports that children are four times more likely to be involved in a serious pedestrian-car accident on Halloween than on any other night. However, there is no need to hide for this holiday; simply take some common sense measures and all will be fa-boo-less.
- Take care of your costume. Costumes, especially for younger children, should not limit movement , obstruct vision, or make children likely to trip. Bright colors or reflective material is a good idea, as is a flashlight.
- Travel together. Children should always be accompanied by a responsible adult. If older children are allowed to venture out, make sure they are in groups, are well-versed in “stranger danger” and safe pedestrian practices, have a cell phone, and have a planned route that they will travel.
- Walk safely. Travel on sidewalks, cross at crosswalks, and always walk. Never come out from between parked cars. Keep your eyes peeled, and never assume that a driver sees you or that they will stop.
- Drive safely. Slow down…way down. Always be on the lookout for children, especially near parked cars. Never, ever assume that people will follow the safety guidelines. Watch for little ones on the loose. Be extremely careful when backing out of a driveway; in a very busy neighborhood, consider having another adult outside the vehicle to watch for small children. Do not drive along the road, watching your children go from house to house. This creates traffic flow problems, angers other drivers, and distracts you from watching the road for other cars and pedestrians.
- Be a helpful host. If you’re hosting a party, keep your walkways and driveways safe, and free of anything that could cause someone to fall or be unable to see while driving. Remind your guests to drive carefully if trick-or-treaters are common in your area.
- Look for alternatives. If you aren’t sold on trick-or-treating anyway, consider community events such as harvest festivals, trunk or treats, or other parties. Stop by a house or two of friends or family to get the trick-or-treat experience and save the rest of the hassle.
No matter what you choose to do this Halloween, we wish you a safe and happy holiday. May all your scary moments be fun ones!