It’s October, which means children’s thoughts will soon turn to goblins, ghosts and other ghastly gear as they ready their costumes for Halloween. But Fright Night is fraught with all sorts of scary statistics every parent should know about.
A survey sponsored by Safe Kids Worldwide found the following frightening facts:
- On average, twice as many child pedestrians are killed on Halloween than on any other night of the year.
- Only 18% of parents use easy-to-see reflective markings on their children’s Halloween costumes.
- 75% of parents report having Halloween fears for their children, but only about 33% actually talk to their kids about Halloween safety.
- 12% of children aged five and under are permitted to trick-or-treat alone (!!)
Add to all that another recent study that found that kids aged 4 through 8 face the highest risk: In the study, there were 55 deaths on Halloween in this age range compared with just 11 on random control days the week before or the week after Oct. 31st.
Lead study author Dr. John Staples of the University of British Columbia told Global News “That age group is maybe particularly excited about Halloween and maybe in the midst of that excitement loses track of the very real danger that vehicles can pose.” In addition, drivers may be unable to see these small children as easily as grown pedestrians.
Lack of visibility and low lighting at night are also contributing factors. Over 77% of all pedestrian fatalities occur at dusk or after dark, according to the National Safety Council.
So what can a parent do to prevent a tragic trick-or-treating? The Canada Safety Council offers some sensible safety tips to follow this Halloween:
- Small children should be accompanied by an adult.
- Reflective markers should be placed on kids’ Halloween costumes and clothing.
- If the costume must include a mask, it should be one that doesn’t obstruct vision.
- Carry a flashlight (or glow stick) to be more visible.
- Costumes should be short enough that children don’t trip.
- And of course, at all times, but even more critically on Halloween, the ubiquitous warning: Look both ways before crossing the street.
And here’s one for trick-or-treaters of the 21st century: Pay attention, and avoid distractions like smartphones or headphones.
But it takes two sides for a deadly accident to occur: Make no mistake, drivers carry much of the responsibility for making sure this Halloween is a safe one. Here are just some of the rules of the road that apply on any night, particularly Oct. 31, that drivers should follow:
- Be especially vigilant and watch for children.
- Don’t pass a stopped vehicle without first checking for children crossing in front.
- Ensure lights are on at dusk to be more easily seen.
- Reduce speed even more than usual in residential neighbourhoods.
Despite all of these safety measures, statistics tell us that there will be some tragic mishaps on Halloween. It goes without saying that a serious injury to a child will be devastating for a family. You will need a personal injury lawyer that is proven to show caring and compassion, as well as expertise and experience, to help you through such a difficult time.
Brian A. Horowitz has nearly 35 years of experience handling cases like these, and will treat you and your family with the care and competence you need. Call Horowitz Injury Law today for a free consultation, at 416-925-4100.