Halloween season is always accompanied by fanfare and activities like dressing up in costumes, pumpkin carving, trick-or-treating, and haunted houses. While having fun is the main goal on Halloween night, it’s also very crucial to ensure everyone’s safety. According to numerous resources, like the National Safety Council and Safe Kids Worldwide, children and adults alike are more likely to face injury or death associated with Halloween than nearly any other day. Using due care, being aware of your surroundings, and not taking unnecessary risks are all ways to avoid injuries while still having a great time. Below are some do’s and don’ts that parents, families, and children can utilize to make Halloween 2019 a safe holiday.
- DO be aware of pedestrians. Pedestrian accidents account for nearly 15% of all motor vehicle fatalities each year. Predictably, this risk is amplified on a holiday like Halloween.
- DO cross the street at corners only, using traffic signals and crosswalks.
- DO look left, right, and left again when crossing the street. Remain aware as you cross.
- DO walk on sidewalks or clear paths. If no sidewalks are present, always walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible. This makes it easier for oncoming motorists to see you.
- DO pay attention to cars that are turning or backing up. Children should never dart out into the street or cross between parked cars.
- DO trick-or-treat with a responsible adult if you’re under 12 years old. Even if you’re 12 or older, always trick-or-treat in groups and stick to well-lit, familiar areas.
- DO decorate costumes and treat bags with reflective tape or stickers.
- DO carry glow sticks or flashlights to increase after-dusk visibility.
- DO drive with caution and alertness. People are squirrly on Halloween and may move/act unpredictably.
- DO wear a costume that fits well. Large, baggy costumes increase the risk of tripping and falling, especially for younger children.
- DO agree on an acceptable trick-or-treating route for older children, and be clear what time everyone is expected to be home.
- DO be mindful of open flames like candles or torches. Wear flame-resistant costumes and accessories to minimize your fire risk.
- DO NOT focus on smartphones and other electronics when crossing the street.
- DO NOT play in the street or make sudden, unexpected movements near motorists.
- Do NOT jaywalk, especially after dusk. Don’t assume a motorist sees you: try making eye contact with the driver first to ensure it’s safe to cross.
- DO NOT walk alone. Trick-or-treaters should always have a friend or family member with them.
- DO NOT drive on Halloween if you’re a new or inexperienced driver.
- DO NOT drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Just don’t! Use a ride-sharing service or a cab instead.
- DO NOT become distracted when driving. Motorists must drive responsibly, especially with increased safety risks on Halloween.
- DO NOT wear masks that obstruct your vision. Try using non-toxic face paint or makeup instead.
- DO NOT enter a stranger’s home or car. Tell children to report suspicious or unsettling behavior by strangers.
- DO NOT eat your hard-earned treats indiscriminately. Check for choking hazards and sharp objects before gorging yourself.
Here’s to an awesome and safe Halloween 2019!