While kids are thinking of candy, costumes, and trick or treating, parents need to be thinking about pedestrian safety and the potential for accidents. Halloween night is a time when a lot of people are out walking from house to house, and it is also a time when people tend to get injured. Philadelphia weather in late October can be treacherous for walking, so parents need to be aware of the potential for slip and fall accidents, as well as run-ins with moving vehicles.
The Reality Of Pedestrian Safety
The National Safety Council reports that 6,700 pedestrians died in 2015 as a result of accidents involving vehicles. Of those unfortunate deaths, 17 percent were the result of pedestrians crossing the road improperly, or not paying attention when crossing at intersections. It is important for parents to remember that it is their responsibility to make sure their children obey the rules of the road while crossing streets, just as much as it is the responsibility of the drivers to be paying attention to what is going on.
Halloween night is a special case because of the huge numbers of pedestrians out crossing streets in the darkness. Children tend to get excited while trick or treating and may run across a busy street without looking. Parents should establish street crossing rules with their children before everyone heads out for a night of Halloween fun.
Considerations For Trick Or Treating
The night sky can be different in various parts of the country. Some of the more rural areas tend to have very dark nights, while urban areas have ambient light that helps to make it easier to see people and vehicles. But no matter how dark the night gets where you are, it is important that your children be seen in order to be safe.
Parents should choose costumes that have reflective materials that cars can easily see. Young children should never be allowed to trick or treat on their own, and every parent should have a flashlight on them to light the way to safety. Trick or treating routes should stick to sidewalks and roads that have lighting, and parents should try to avoid trick or treating in areas that do not have sidewalks.
Avoiding Halloween Slips And Falls
While bad weather and slippery footwear can be two contributing factors to slip and fall accidents on Halloween, they are not the only concerns. Parents need to make sure that all costumes stop at the knees or just a little after the knees to prevent anyone from walking on their costume and slipping.
Another concern is large hats that could fall over a child’s eyes and create a tripping or slipping hazard. While your little one may insist on the large-brimmed hat for their costume, parents must take safety into consideration when choosing accessories. Hats should always have a snug fit, and there should be nothing on a hat to prevent a child from seeing where they are going. Sunglasses and masks that do not have good sight lines are also very bad ideas for Halloween costumes.
Sometimes kids want to wear larger shoes for their costumes, or they want shoes that do not have durable soles with the traction necessary for outdoors. Once again, parents should always lean towards safety and insist on shoes that fit, and shoes that have the right traction for any kind of Halloween weather. Shoes with reflective materials on them will also help to make your children easier to see at night.
Halloween night is a lot of fun for the whole family, but safety should also be a primary concern. Parents should accompany their children for a night of trick or treating, and every precaution should be taken to make sure that every child’s costume is properly designed for a night of walking along streets at night. Children should be given safety rules they must follow, and parents should bring a flashlight and first aid kit to be properly prepared.