City sidewalks and roadways will be filled with children darting from home to home looking for treats on Halloween. Traditionally, Halloween has been one of the most dangerous nights of the year for auto-pedestrian collisions. Motorists are urged to use the upmost in caution if traveling in neighborhoods during the early evening hours.
“Keeping a watchful eye and driving slowly in and around every neighborhood would be good advice for drivers this Halloween,” said Mark Hanna, a spokesperson for the Insurance Council of Texas. “Children will be excited and not looking for cars. Plus, costumes may restrict their vision which could be hazardous for the trick or treaters either on or off the roadway.”
Adult supervision is highly recommended for young children so they can have a successful and fun-filled evening. The Insurance Council of Texas (ICT) offers these tips as recommended by the Center for Disease Control and the American Academy of Pediatrics.
- Trick-or-treat in a group and make sure the children in your group stay together. Children should never venture out of sight from their guardian, and should never enter a house unless they know the person and their guardian is accompanying them.
- Carry a flashlight at all times. Flashlights will keep you and your party visible, while also lighting your path.
- Always use the sidewalk and crosswalks near busy intersections. Walk on the side of the road that is facing traffic so that you can see oncoming traffic at all times. Be sure to look both ways when crossing the street.
- Be careful around fire lit candles or luminaries.
- Do not allow your children to eat candy until it has been inspected. Children might be tempted to reach into their bags for candy before you’ve gone home to inspect their loot. Explain to them that you need to check the candy first for safety reasons.
- Toss any candy that has an open wrapper. Examine candy that can possibly be a choking hazard, or too difficult for your child to eat and take them away. Also avoid any homemade treats unless you know the person who served them and can attest to the food’s safety.
- Don’t just leave your children with all their Halloween candy. On a good haul, your children can accumulate more candy during Halloween than you would ever consider buying them in an entire year. After inspecting the candy, you should set it aside and distribute it to your children in limited amounts. The last thing you want is your children eating a year’s worth of candy in one night!
If you feel comfortable letting your older children venture out on their own, make sure you know the route they are taking and that they have a cell phone and that they use it to check-in.
A good alternative to trick-or-treating in a neighborhood would be to attend an organized event, or even visit a local mall to avoid the dangers of moving vehicles. Invite the children of friends, family and neighbors to accompany your kids so that you have on large group that is easily visible to traffic.
Thanks to the Insurance Council of Texas for this article.