Adults and kids alike look forward to Halloween with great anticipation.
We love the rituals of dressing up in costumes, telling ghost stories, carving jack-o-lanterns, trick or treating, and at the end of the night, sorting through candy and treats.
For most households, the biggest problem that comes with Halloween is an upset stomach from consuming too much sugar and chocolate. But Halloween dangers are not limited to over-eating, and frights are not limited to witches and ghosts. Halloween poses a variety of risks for child injuries. One of Halloween’s greatest risks lies on the roadways, as an experienced car accident lawyer understands.
Halloween is the deadliest day of the year for child pedestrian accidents with 115 fatalities on Halloween from 1990 to 2010, according to an analysis by Sperling’s Best Places. That is an average of 5.5 fatalities each year on October 31, which is more than double the average number of 2.6 fatalities for other days.
Sperling also found that the majority of fatal Halloween night accidents occur in the middle of a block, away from official road crossings. The deadliest hour is between 6:00 and 7:00 p.m. and the ages of children most at risk are 12 to 15.
This special night can be the basis for a lifetime of memories, and to ensure our Halloween memories are happy ones, follow some easy guidelines to stay safe on the spookiest night of the year.
Key Tips for Parents to Keep Halloween Safe for Children
- All children should be supervised by an adult.
- Choose a costume with fire resistant materials and bright colors.
- Put emergency identification on the inside lining of costumes or around your child’s wrist. Adhere reflective tape to costumes and treat bags, especially if the costume is dark.
- Make sure face paint and make-up is non-toxic.
- Make sure your child’s mask doesn’t obstruct vision or breathing.
- Tell your children not to eat candy or treats until you have inspected them and toss candy that is unwrapped or unsealed.
- Teach children to call 9-1-1 in an emergency.
- Avoid driving during the trick-or-treat hours in your neighborhood, if possible.
- Be alert to children crossing the street who may not be paying attention to traffic. Halloween is an exciting time for them and they may cross the street mid-block or between parked cars.
- Avoid distracted driving. Put down your cell phone and concentrate on the road.
- Don’t drink and drive.
Halloween Safety Tips For Kids
- No one, no matter how old, should trick-or-treat alone.
- Never go inside a stranger’s home.
- Only visit houses where lights are on.
- Watch out for pets. Even the friendly dog next door may bite because he doesn’t recognize trick-or-treaters in their masks and costumes.
- Carry a flashlight with new batteries.
- Use crosswalks, and use sidewalks wherever possible.
- Trick-or-treat in familiar neighborhoods and at homes of people you know.
Halloween Safety Tips For Homeowners
- Clear steps and lawns of any tripping hazards; make sure pathways are clearly lit, and repair holes in sidewalks.
- Keep pets away.
- Use flashlights or flameless candles in pumpkins near your door to reduce the chance of a fire.
- If you’re having a party, don’t provide alcohol to minors.
The New York City Police Department recommends that parents place identification on the inside of their kids’ costumes in case of accidental separation, but at the same time, avoid allowing your kids to wear their names outwardly on their costumes or jewelry, because that may help a stranger call them by name and appear to know them.
The police also remind parent to protect their children by making sure that treats are wrapped in their original, unbroken packages – no loose candy, open glasses or bottles, fresh fruit, or homemade goods.
If your child eats a Halloween treat and you discover evidence that it may have been tampered with, or it has a strange taste, or if a child feels sick, call the NYC Health Department’s Poison Control Center, which is open 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year, for emergencies and advice at (212) POISONS (764-7667), (212) VENENOS (836-3667) for Spanish language speakers, or (212) 689-9014 for TDD users. The National toll free number, 1-800-222-1222, connects to the nearest poison control center. For emergencies, dial 911.
Injured in a Halloween Accident?
If you or a loved one was injured during Halloween in an automobile or slip and fall accident, contact David Resnick & Associates, P.C., today. We’re ready to answer your questions and talk to you about your legal rights.
Call 1-866-210-7535 or fill out our contact form for a no obligation free legal evaluation.