Keep kids safe on Halloween

When Halloween arrives each October, most people are interested in the entertaining aspects of the holiday in addition to the abundance of sweet foods that are there for the taking. Even though fun may be foremost on the brain, it is important for everyone keep safety in mind as well.

According to the Florida Law Group, Halloween is a time of heightened injuries and fatalities, and is actually the deadliest day of the year for children. A State Farm insurance study that analyzed four million fatalities between 1990 and 2010 discovered children are twice as likely to die on Halloween as they are on any other day of the year. Data published in the Wall Street Journal indicated children between the ages of four and eight are 10 times more likely to be fatally injured by a car on Halloween than any other day of the year.

While no one wants to put a damper on Halloween festivities, it’s important that everyone celebrate safely.

Keep weekdays in mind: Halloween falls on a Monday in 2022 and that could be more dangerous than if it fell on a weekend. According to Autoinsurance.com, injuries to children and pedestrians in general were higher on weeknight than weekend holidays, with most accidents occurring between 6 p.m. and 7 pm — prime commuter time. Exercise extreme caution walking around this year.

Opt for face paints over masks: Medical masks may still be worn by some families as precautions against COVID-19. However, when it comes to Halloween costumes, face paints are preferable to masks and other face coverings. Masks tend to limit visibility, which can lead to kids tripping and falling, or even not being able to see cars or other pedestrians. Follow safety instructions when using face paints around the eyes and mouth.

Improve visibility all around: In late October, the sun sets at 5:50 on average. With darkness descending during peak trick-or-treating times, it’s imperative that children carry flashlights or glow sticks or utilize reflective tape on their costumes so others can see them.

Traverse familiar areas: Children trick-or-treating with adults may be able to venture a bit further in pursuit of treats, but it is generally safer to stay close to home where surroundings are familiar. This reduces the propensity for getting lost or wandering into sketchy situations. Older kids allowed to venture out on their own would be wise to stay close to home as well. Neighbours can assist if something goes awry and there’s less chance of getting turned around.

What homeowners can do: Even though safety is largely on the shoulders of trick-or-treaters, homeowners and renters can do their part to ensure the safety of those enjoying Halloween hijinks. Make sure walkways to doors are clear. Have additional lights on pathways or overhead to improve visibility. Contain pets indoors, as they may become skittish on Halloween with extra crowds and noises. Don’t run the risk of kids getting scratched or bitten.

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