It’s almost Halloween, an evening when children (and some adults), stroll in the dark and willingly take candy from strangers. Halloween is an exciting time and even a favorite holiday for some kids (and again, some adults). Some start working on their homemade costumes months in advance while others wait until the last minute and head into your seasonal Halloween pop-up store for their ensemble.
As parents, we all want our kids to have a fun and safe day. Unfortunately, among the zombies and Super Mario Bros. of the day, some real dangers lurk. Here are some spooky statistics:
- Only 33% of parents talk to their kids each year about Halloween safety while 75% of those parents have concerns about Halloween safety.
- On average, twice as many pedestrians are killed while walking on Halloween compared to other days of the year.
- In 2017, October ranked No. 2 in motor vehicle deaths by month, with 3,700. July is No. 1, with 3,830 deaths.
- 14% of fatal accidents on Halloween involve a driver who is under the influence of alcohol.
- 12% of children ages 5 or younger are permitted to go trick-or-treating alone.
The good news is that there is a lot you can do as a parent to prevent or avoid these dangers. Consider these important Halloween safety tips for parents of trick-or-treaters:
- Trick-or-treating is safer and more fun in groups.
- Adult supervision is essential. Get together with other adults and make an evening of it.
- Bring mobile phones for quick pictures and potential emergencies, but leave them in your pockets to avoid getting distracted.
- Cross the street safely at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks. Look left, right, and left again when crossing, and keep looking as you cross.
- Walk on sidewalks or paths. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible.
- Advise your children to slow down and stay alert. Watch out for cars that are turning or backing up and don’t dart out into the street or cross in between parked cars.
- Flashlights and glow sticks are an excellent way for trick-or-treaters to stay visible to drivers, just be sure to remind your children not to rupture the glow sticks or put them anywhere near their mouths.
- When you get home, carefully examine the candy your kids collected before they eat any of it. Discard any food or candy that is unwrapped or the wrappers are partially open. If you have kids with allergies, check for items they shouldn’t be eating.
As a homeowner, the risk of a lawsuit or insurance claim can be truly terrifying if you don’t plan ahead. Here are some tips for homeowners to keep their homes liability-free during this year’s trick-or-treat:
- Remove from the porch and front yard anything a child could trip over such as hoses, toys, bikes, and lawn decorations.
- While you may have worked hard on carving that jack-o-lantern you put on the steps, it probably isn’t a good idea to leave it there with all the foot traffic on Halloween.
- Check your outdoor lights and replace burned-out bulbs.
- Wet leaves should be swept from sidewalks and steps to avoid a slip and fall.
- Restrain dogs and other pets so they do not inadvertently jump on or bite a trick-or-treater.
- Be sure to keep an eye on those jack-o-lantern candles to reduce the risk of fire.
- Stick to store-bought candy and leave those tasty homemade treats for your family.
As we mentioned, some adults also enjoy taking part in the frightening festivities. Halloween-themed house parties and costume contests at nightclubs are just a couple of ways they enjoy the eerie evening. Here are a few ways to stay safe during your monster mash:
If you are hosting the party
- Do not provide alcohol to minors.
- Do not allow impaired guests to drive
If you are attending a party
- Do not drink and drive.
- If you are drinking, catch a ride with a friend who is not, take the T, or call an Uber, Lyft, or Taxi.
- Consider an overnight stay. Consider asking to stay overnight if attending a party at a friend or family member’s home.
Being aware of the potential dangers and using a bit of extra caution, can help ensure you and your children will be happy and safe this year on Halloween.
With offices in Chelsea, Peabody, and Newburyport, MA, Spada Law Group provides Boston quality legal representation without the commute into the city with free on-premises or validated parking. We are here to answer any questions you may have. Call Spada Law Group today at 617-889-5000 to discuss your situation. The consultation is free and there is absolutely no obligation to hire us. We are open Monday through Friday from 9am to 5pm.