It’s the time of year for costumes, sweets, and tricks and treats. While Halloween offers plenty of make-believe fun, it can also bring real safety risks for children, adults, and pets. With their minds focused on getting tasty treats, kids are twice as likely to be hit by a car while darting across dark streets on Halloween than any other night of the year.
In 2014, about 6,300 pedestrian deaths and 145,000 medically consulted injuries occurred among pedestrians in motor vehicle incidents. Darting or running into the road accounts for about 70% of pedestrian deaths or injuries for those age 5 to 9 and about 47% of incidents for those 10 to 14.
Check out these tips to help make the festivities fun and safe for trick-or-treaters, party guests, and pets.
- Stash the Treats – Keep the candy bowl out of reach for all pets. Several popular Halloween treats are toxic to pets.
- Watch the Decorations – pets and small children can easily knock over a lit pumpkin and start a fire. Place candlelit pumpkins on a sturdy surface away from curtains and other flammable objects. Never leave candlelit pumpkins unattended.
- Be Careful with Costumes – costumes should never restrict breathing or movement. Make sure costumes are comfortable and don’t cause undue stress. Avoid masks, long dresses or skirts, and excessive props. You should never dress up pets unless you know they love it!
- Stay well lit – always carry a flashlight or glow stick. Put reflective tape on costumes if you can.
- Get in on the fun. Accompany trick-or-treaters younger than age 12. Pin a piece of paper with your child’s name, address and phone number inside your child’s pocket in case you get separated.
- Set ground rules and plan a route. If your child will be trick-or-treating without you, plan and discuss a familiar route and set a curfew. Have your child carry a cellphone for the evening so that he or she can contact you.
- Inspect treats before indulging. Inspect the treats before allowing your child to dive in. Discard anything that’s not sealed, has torn packaging or looks questionable. If you have young children, weed out gum, peanuts, hard candies and other choking hazards.
- Ration the loot. If your child collects gobs of goodies, dole out a few pieces at a time and save the rest.
If you are out driving, be extra caution of children walking on roadways, medians and curbs. Make sure to enter and exit driveways and alleys carefully. Not all children will be carrying flashlights or glow sticks, so be very cautious of children in dark clothing.
Have a happy and safe Halloween!
Personal Lines Customer Service Representative