dog in costume sitting outside house with jack o lanterns

Safe Trick or Treating

Deb Morris Halloween

Nothing is scarier than accident statistics, and Halloween has a lot of them – and we’re not talking about razor blades or drugs hidden in candy. In fact, Halloween ranks high for automobile accidents, nearly doubling the deaths of car related injuries in children on an average night. While this all sounds dreadful, there are some easy ways to keep yourself and your children safe on quite the deadly night. Here are some tips to stay alert and safe on Halloween while still having fun!

  1. Wear bright or reflective clothing – while your kids may complain about ruining their costumes, it’s definitely worth it for safety reasons. Reflective strips, glow stick jewelry and light up accessories are a fantastic way to keep your young ones visible, even to those with night blindness. Google some creative ways to incorporate these items into your child’s costume to make it safe and to their liking! 
  2. Drive slowly with headlights on in neighborhoods – just before the sun begins to set, and shadows start to darken the streets, you as a driver should turn your headlights on. It’s a simple safety tip we learn in drivers ed, but it’s especially important to remember on Halloween night, when 2-3 times as many children are killed from being struck by a car, according to the Wall Street Journal. 
  3. Stick to sidewalks and remember foot traffic rules – as a pedestrian, you may think you have the right of way, which can be the case; however, there are also traffic laws a walker has to adhere to. If no sidewalks are available to walk on, always walk against traffic past the fog (white) line. Crosswalks are a must when crossing the street (not using one is a crime called “jaywalking”). If a crosswalk isn’t available, walk to the next intersection and cross there. Always look left, right, and left again before crossing and look out for cars that may not have their lights on! 
  4. Don’t drink and drive (on any night!) – while this should be an obvious rule to follow, many people do not. In fact, according to a State Farm study that spanned two decades, nearly half of car-related deaths on Halloween involve an intoxicated driver. These statistics have held up over the years and even beat out New Years Eve. If you plan on drinking, make sure to arrange a ride (friend, family or Uber) or plan to walk before you become another statistic. Just follow the traffic rules if you do decide to walk (see #3).
  5. Always check candy for many reasons – whether it’s an expired piece of chocolate, a food allergy or the possibility of something hidden in your child’s candy, it’s always a good idea to check their Halloween goods before they can dig in. A Canadian study in the last decade showed that on Halloween there was an uptick in children with nut allergy induced anaphylaxis, so if your child has any kind of allergy, make sure to do your research about the candy beforehand. Also make sure to check for tears or temperaments in the wrapping of the candy. Most of the time, the most delicious candy your child receives won’t be edible … but you should taste it just to be sure!