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Tips for Safe Trick or Treating This Halloween

Children of all ages love Halloween. Between the costumes, the parties, and let’s not forget the candy, what’s not to like about Halloween if you are a kid.  But did you know that Halloween is actually the deadliest day of the year for children?  Children are twice as likely to be hit by a car on this day than any other day of the year.  And many of these accidents result in fatal injuries.

In fact, the National Safety Council ranks October as the second dangerous month of the year for children, due in large part to Halloween accidents. To keep your children safe while they are trick or treating this Halloween, here are some tips to make sure everyone enjoys the festivities.

First, your child’s costume should be bright and reflective.  You may even want to consider adding reflective strips to your child’s costume and have your child carry a flashlight.  At a minimum, have them wear glow-in-the-dark accessories or a glow stick to make them more visible.  The deadliest hours of trick-or-treating occurs during the time frame of 5:00 to 9:00 when daylight fades and turns into night.    Although many Halloween costumes lean towards the dark and ghoulish, a bright costume will make sure your child is visible and easily seen by motorist and will help to keep them safe.

Also, avoid the costumes with masks.  Masks can limit eyesight or the range of vision of the person wearing it.  If a child can’t see well out of their mask, they won’t be able to see the cars while they are out on the roads.  This could lead to a deadly result.  Instead of the mask, opt for a bright hat or other type of accessory to boost your child’s visibility.

Surprisingly, 70% of children go trick-or-treating alone without adult supervision.  In fact, 12% of 6 year-olds are allowed to go out on Halloween alone. The age group with the most fatalities on Halloween is 12 to 15 year-olds, followed by the 5 to 8 year-old range.  Always accompany your children while they are out this Halloween, especially if they are of a younger age.  Young children don’t always know pedestrian and road safety rules, and need an adult with them to help keep them safe.

If your older children are going alone, make sure you know the routes they are taking, and that they stay on well lit roads.  Be sure to speak to your older children about road safety, and remind them to stay in a group while trick-or-treating.

Whether you are with your children or they are out alone, be sure to stay on the sidewalks when possible. If there is no sidewalk, walk on the edge closest to the curb and facing traffic. And always be sure to cross an intersection at the designated cross walk.

When crossing the street, don’t assume you or your child has the right of way.   A motorist may not always see you, especially if the lighting is poor.  Over 70% of Halloween pedestrian accidents occur while crossing the road, especially at a point other than the cross walk.   Be sure to watch your child to make sure they don’t dart into middle of the road, or in between cars, to cross the street.

Don’t be a distracted pedestrian.  In other words, don’t be glued to your cell phone when you need to be making sure your child is following road safety and looking out for cars.  This should also be told to your older children if they are going out on their own.

If you are a motorist out on the roads during trick-or-treat hours, slow down and be especially watchful of children in the roads, medians and curbs.  Keep an eye out for children in dark costumes.  New drivers especially need to be careful on Halloween and should be discouraged from driving during trick-or-treat time.  Statistics have shown that young drivers between the ages of 15 to 25 account of almost one-third of fatal accidents involving children on Halloween.

Atlanta pedestrian accident attorneys at the Katz Law Firm represent persons injured in pedestrian accidents in and around the metro Atlanta region and across Georgia. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries in a pedestrian accident in Atlanta, call a pedestrian accident lawyer at our Atlanta firm, and  discuss whether you have a legal right to a claim for compensation for your losses.