Trick or Treat! Halloween Safety Tips
Between having the chance to get dressed up and being able to get free candy, Halloween can easily be one of the most exciting days of the year for a kid. But when you’re a kid, you get so wrapped up in all the fun of the day that you don’t stop to think that it might potentially be dangerous in any way. In reality, it’s very easy for Halloween to turn dangerous if you’re not careful. But there are a few easy things adults can do to help make the day safe and fun for children, and hopefully prevent a personal injury lawsuit.
According to the Mayo Clinic, children are twice as likely to be hit by a car on Halloween than on any other night of the year. When all those trick-or-treaters are out and about after dark, drivers can have a harder time seeing them. If you’re going to be out trick or treating with your kids, make sure to always cross streets at a corner and teach your children to never cross a street by moving out in between cars parked on the street. If a child tries crossing a street by stepping out between parked cars, it can be very difficult for drivers to see them and stop in time.
Of course, it’s also best to stick to walking on sidewalks as much as possible. If you’re not able to walk on sidewalks, walk as far to the side of the road as possible and walk facing traffic.
Since trick or treating often means being outside after dark, anything you can do to make yourself visible is an extremely important way to stay safe. Attaching reflective tape to a costume is a great option, especially if a costume is darkly colored. Carrying flashlights or glow sticks will also help you stand out to drivers.
Even if you won’t be out trick or treating this Halloween, if you’re planning to drive somewhere during trick or treating hours, be on very high alert for children. Be particularly careful when backing out of driveways. If you’re going to be driving through residential neighborhoods, be sure to drive slowly, especially if there are cars parked on the street. Make sure your headlights are on so that it’s easier to see pedestrians and for pedestrians to see you. Remember that cities often have different rules about trick or treating, but you can generally expect to see more pedestrians than normal between 5:30 PM and 9:30 PM.
If you’re planning to hand out candy to trick-or-treaters this year, take some time to make sure there aren’t any hazards in your yard that could cause a child to fall and get hurt. Leaves that have fallen on the ground can be extremely slippery, particularly if they’re wet. So if you have leaves on your walkway or driveway (or any other area where visitors will be walking), take some time to clear them out of the way, especially if it’s rained recently. Be sure to look for other things which could be easy to trip over, such as a garden hose or toys that have been left in the yard. Also, don’t forget to make sure the porch or other area where you’ll be handing out candy is well lit.
Dog owners who will be handing out candy to trick-or-treaters should take extra steps to keep their dog under control. If your dog tends to get overly excited by visitors, it’s best to keep the dog in a separate room of the house until trick or treating is over so that it won’t be likely to try getting out of the house or bite visitors. But even if your dog typically does well with visitors, it’s still smart to keep it secured away from the door during trick or treating. Having that many visitors in such a small amount of time can be stressful for pets, especially when those visitors are likely to be wearing unusual outfits or making noise, and they may act out accordingly. Keeping your dog contained in the house also helps protect your pet since it makes it less likely it will escape anytime the door is opened.
Have a safe and happy Halloween!