Kids love the magic of Halloween: Trick-or-treating, classroom parties and trips to a neighborhood haunted house.
But for moms and dads, often there is a fine line between Halloween fun and safety concerns, especially when it comes to road and pedestrian safety.
In 2015, about 6,700 pedestrian deaths and 160,000 medically consulted injuries occurred among pedestrians in motor vehicle incidents, according to Injury Facts 2017, the statistical report on unintentional injuries created by the National Safety Council.
NSC research reveals about 17% of these deaths occurred when pedestrians improperly crossed roads or intersections. Lack of visibility because of low lighting or dark clothing accounted for about 15% of the deaths. Other circumstances varied by age: Darting or running into the road accounted for about 15% of deaths in kids ages 5 to 9 and 7% for those 10 to 15.
In the U.S., October ranks No. 2 in motor vehicle deaths by month. NSC data put August first, with 3,642 deaths, followed by October, 3,550, and July, 3,530.
Follow These Ghoulishly Good Best Practices
To help ensure adults and children have a safe holiday, the American Academy of Pediatrics has compiled a list of Halloween Safety Tips, including do’s and don’ts on the trick-or-treat trail:
- A parent or responsible adult should always accompany young children on the neighborhood rounds
- If your older children are going alone, plan and review the route that is acceptable to you
- Agree on a specific time when children should return home
- Only go to homes with a porch light on and never enter a home or car for a treat
Children and adults are reminded to put electronic devices down, keep heads up and walk, don’t run, across the street. NSC offers the following safety tips for parents – and anyone who plans to be on the road during trick-or-treat hours:
Safety Tips for Motorists
- Watch for children walking on roadways, medians and curbs
- Enter and exit driveways and alleys carefully
- At twilight and later in the evening, watch for children in dark clothing
- Instruct your children to travel only in familiar, well-lit areas and avoid trick-or-treating alone
- Tell your children not to eat any treats until they return home
- Teach your children to never enter a stranger’s home
- All costumes, wigs and accessories should be fire-resistant
- If children are allowed out after dark, fasten reflective tape to their costumes and bags to make sure they are visible
- When buying Halloween makeup, make sure it is nontoxic and always test it in a small area first
- Remove all makeup before children go to bed to prevent skin and eye irritation
Source: National Safety Council; http://www.nsc.org/learn/safety-knowledge/Pages/halloween-safety.aspx