By: Karen Piso Nadeau, Esquire and Leslie S. Harkavy, Esquire
From Halloween candy splurges, to dressing up in costumes, to trick-or-treating, festive parties and getting together with classmates, friends and family, it is a perfect time to put aside our responsibilities of school, work and other commitments and enjoy (even for just a little bit) the carefree, fun holiday that does not have the stress of other holidays with meal preparations and buying and wrapping gifts. But, with Halloween and the sun setting earlier, there are things we can all do to help make sure everyone is safe. Consider some important safety tips and reminders to keep everything fun and magical.
According to the National Safety Council, in 2017, 7,450 pedestrians died in traffic or non-traffic incidents. Children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween than any other day of the year. But, there are steps we can take to help our kids and prevent injuries or accidents from happening. The American Academy of Pediatrics provides us with a list of Halloween Safety Tips that we can use not just on this spooky holiday but in our everyday hustle and bustle of life.
Here are some important tips:
- Halloween costumes should be bright and reflective so kids can be seen in the dark. Also, costumes should be short enough to prevent tripping.
- Add reflective tape to costumes and trick-or-treat bags.
- Make sure children can see when trick-or-treating. Masks can block eyesight. Hats can slide over the eyes. Wigs and other accessories can also interfere with seeing.
- Swords, canes and sticks can be hazards. Make sure accessories are not sharp or long.
- Review with children how to call 911 if there is an emergency or they get lost.
As to preparing for trick-or-treaters coming to your home,
*remove anything children could trip over such as toys, bikes or a garden hose
*check outdoor lights to make sure lighting is sufficient
*restrain pets so they do not inadvertently jump on or bite trick-or-treaters.
- Parent or responsible adult should accompany young children.
- Use flashlights with fresh batteries for all children.
- For older children going alone, plan a route, review it and approve it. Also, agree on a time to come home.
- Only go to homes with lights and never enter the homes.
- Stay in a group and remain with your friends.
- Carry a cell phone for quick communication.
- Remain in well-lit streets and use sidewalks.
- If there is no sidewalk, walk on the far edge of the roadway facing traffic.
- Only cross the street as a group in the crosswalks. Never cross in between parked cars or out of driveways.
- Do not assume the right of way. Drivers may have trouble seeing trick-or-treaters.
- Just because one car stops does not mean others will.
- Do not eat any treats until you get home and a responsible adult can approve the treats.
The Boston Police Department has Halloween Safety Tips for drivers reminding those operating vehicles to drive extra slow and be extra cautious. If driving, remember kids are not paying attention to their surroundings. Slow down and be vigilant.
Both children and adults are reminded to put electronic devices down. Children are reminded to keep their heads up and walk across streets, do not run.
Accident prevention and reviewing safety tips with children will go a long way to a safe and enjoyable Halloween! Many of these safety tips are good reminders for not only the spooky day but in our everyday lives. Have fun! And don’t eat too much candy!!
See American Academy of Pediatricians at www.aap.org and Boston Police 2019 safety tips at www.bpdnews.com for more information.
The lawyers at Nadeau Harkavy LLC help victims and their families recover the compensation they deserve for their losses in serious injury and wrongful death cases arising from accidents. If you have any questions about your legal rights relating to an accident, feel free to contact us for a free consult today at 617-674-7640.