With Halloween upon us once again, Stamford parents will be looking for ways to ensure that their children have an enjoyable but safe experience on this autumn holiday. While some parents seek out alternatives to traditional trick-or-treating activities, there is no doubt that many kids will be dressing up and heading out to beg their neighbors for sweet treats.
According to statistics, kids face twice the risk of being struck and injured by motorists on Halloween than on any other day. Two years ago, October came in second for the most deaths from motor vehicle accidents. July had 3,830 and October had 3,700 that year. Read on to learn how you can keep your children safer when trick-or-treating.
Ditch the masks
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that rather than buying your child a mask this Halloween, use makeup instead to disguise their appearance. Masks restrict both breathing and vision and can be a distraction to children as they go from house to house trick-or-treating.
Create a safer costume
Parents should make sure that their kids’ costumes are fire-resistant. Ditto for any wigs and accessories they use. If the costumes are dark-colored, attach strips of reflective tape to the back, front and sides to make them more visible to motorists. Add a couple glow-stick necklaces and bracelets to give them even greater visibility.
Also, all costumes should be ankle length or shorter to avoid becoming a tripping hazard.
Supervise children while trick-or-treating
Young children should always be accompanied by parents or other responsible adults while they traipse around the neighborhood. ‘Tweens may resist this mightily, and if your kids are mature and responsible enough, they may be able to trick-or-treat in groups as long as they agree to abide by curfews and traffic rules. Work with them to plan a safe route.
Review traffic rules and stranger danger
Kids who are heading out to trick-or-treat should walk on sidewalks whenever possible. However, not all streets may have them. Make sure that they know to stay to the side of the road well out of range of traffic and not to dart between parked cars when crossing the street.
They should also never enter a home to get candy or treats and never accept rides from strangers.
Avoid digital disasters
While it’s not a bad idea to have your child take a cellphone with them while trick-or-treating with their friends, they shouldn’t try to walk and engage with their phone at the same time. This can cause them to trip and fall, perhaps even into the path of a car.
If an accident befalls them
No parent can prevent all childhood accidents and injuries, no matter how hard they try. If your child is injured in a Halloween accident with a motorist, you will need to get them immediate medical treatment. Then, take the necessary steps to preserve their rights to financial compensation from the negligent driver who caused their injuries.