When family members consider the “dangers” of Halloween, the first thing that comes to mind is tainted candy. Parents and guardians worry about needles stuck into wrapped candy and their children eating items that contain allergens. It is actually fairly rare these days to come across tainted candy, although the risk of allergens is always present.
What parents should be more concerned about is their little ones as pedestrians. Two decades of research has shown that Halloween is the deadliest day of the entire year when it comes to accidents and fatalities involving pedestrian children. We will discuss general Halloween safety in just a moment but, first, let’s take a closer look at what it means for your little one to be a pedestrian on this favorite holiday.
The report released by Bert Sperling of Sperling’s BestPlaces and State Farm provides some startling statistics. Here are the facts:
So why is Halloween so atypical? There are many reasons. There are environmental and behavioral risks associated with pedestrians and this holiday. Those factors are compounded by the fact that young children are developmentally limited. That is, they are not able to make judgment calls like an adult.
Most of the festivities on Halloween are held during dusk and dark. A return to standard time means that Halloween is even darker than children are used to, as standard time occurs just before the holiday. Additionally, children who are involved in trick-or-treating frequently cross streets. These young ones get so excited that they forget to look both ways before they cross, and they very rarely utilize crosswalks unless accompanied by an adult.
What are the other risk factors? Dark Halloween costumes can make little ones all but invisible at night. Children wearing masks may have reduced peripheral vision, prohibiting them from seeing cars coming from the left or right. Distractions can reduce attention to sensory input. In plain English…children are so distracted by their quest for candy that they become tunnel-visioned and have their eye on the prize so-to-speak, forgetting the safety lessons they have been taught.
This is in no means an attempt to blame car versus pedestrian accidents on children. That said, little ones do have physical and developmental limitations that can contribute to the heightened risk of becoming a victim in this type of accident.
So, now that you have all of this information, what can you do to protect your child or the little ones in your care on Halloween? You can actually do quite a few things.
Supervision doesn’t mean walking with a group of adults while your kids run circles around you. Supervision doesn’t mean walking with your attention focused on your smart phone. You need to keep an eye on your kids and a hand in theirs if they cannot control themselves.
Speaking of great neighborhoods, there are several that are well-known Halloween hot spots. Visit any of these neighborhoods with your little ones and you will have a safe holiday to remember.
This Halloween mecca is full of homes and shops that dole out the candy to children. Not only will your kids score a major amount of treats, but they can take part in storytime theater and a costume contest.
Head to Broward County and visit Southwest Ranches. The small community is full of decorated homes and child-friendly streets. Most of the occupants of these homes have children themselves, meaning your little one will have plenty of company.
The people of Weston are known for their love of Halloween. Decorated homes, themed events and costume contests are the rule in these neighborhoods.
There are six parks in this area and is incredibly safe. While there are no costume contests or specific events, you can rest easy knowing that everyone is on the lookout for tiny trick-or-treaters.
Halloween should be a night full of joyful shrieks and delightful haunts. You do not want to worry about your child being hit by a car and injured or, worse, killed. When you set expectations, choose the right costume, and be sure that your child is visible, you are doing everything that you can to ensure a safe evening for your little one.
Additionally, the neighborhood you choose to visit can make all the difference. Look for a neighborhood that is popular with trick-or-treaters. These neighborhoods are often well-known, and drivers know to either avoid these areas or drive with extreme caution. To brush up on your pedestrian safety tips, browse our “Pedestrian Accidents” page that is full of excellent information, tips and advice.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian-versus-vehicle accident, we know that an attorney may be the last thing on your mind, but we may be one of the most important people you contact. Our experienced personal injury attorneys will fight for your rights in court and help you get any compensation that you may be entitled to by law. Call our offices today at 1-800-560-5059 for a free initial case evaluation. We will review the details of your case and advise you how to best proceed. Contact us today.