While the normal fear for parents on Halloween is that their kids will find something dangerous in their treats, there's a much bigger risk that many aren't aware of:
The increased risk of being hit by a car.
A 2018 study found that Halloween has more fatal pedestrian accidents than any other day of the year. And for our children, the numbers can be staggering.
For teenagers, the risk is doubled. For children between 9 and 12 it was more than 7 times as dangerous.
And the greatest risk of all? Children between the ages of 4 and 8 were 10 times more likely to be killed by a car on Halloween than on any other day.
Even though my kids are now older, that number still freaked me out.
But don't worry: you don't need to keep your kids home and stop them from enjoying one of the most fun nights of the year. Instead, there are things you can do to keep your little ghosts and goblins safe as they trick-or-treat.
Here are five tips to help avoid a scary accident this Halloween:
1. Make sure your child’s costume is bright and visible
If possible, add reflective tape or stickers to their costume or candy bag. This will help them be seen by drivers in the dark.
2. Give them a flashlight or lantern
Another way to increase your child’s visibility is to give them a flashlight or small lantern to carry with them while they trick-or-treat. Not only will this help them see in the dark, but it will also help drivers see them.
Our personal favorite is the small-yet-bright Halo 150 lantern that can run for hours and be clipped right onto your kids costume.
3. Don't let them go alone
Accompany your child while they trick-or-treat. Don’t let them go out alone. If you can’t go with them, make sure they go with a group of friends or an older sibling. There’s safety in numbers!
4. Go where the light is
Stick to well-lit streets and sidewalks while you’re out trick-or-treating. Avoid shortcuts through parking lots or dimly lit alleyways.
5. Use this as an opportunity to teach them basic traffic safety
Finally, teach your child basic traffic safety rules before they go out trick-or-treating. Things like looking both ways before crossing the street and only crossing at crosswalks or stoplights will help them stay safe around traffic.
Halloween is a fun time for kids—but it's also a time when accidents can happen if parents don't take proper safety precautions. By following these simple tips, you can help ensure a happy and safe Halloween for your whole family.
Source: JAMA Network 2018 Study