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Halloween Safety: The Biggest Dangers!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Pedestrian Motor Vehicle Accidents, Fires & other injuries!

One of America’s most popular holidays, Halloween is also one of the deadliest according to
Forbes.com. Distractions, darkness, drinking and driving, candles and costumes are all key
contributors. Focusing on candy and fun, excited trick-or-treaters walk along unfamiliar streets
wearing dark colors making it difficult for motorists to see them. According to the Center
for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Highway Transportation Safety
Association (NHTSA) pedestrian motor vehicle accidents are four (4) times higher on Halloween than any other day of the year.

As Halloween continues to grow in popularity among adults, alcohol increases the likelihood of
pedestrian motor vehicle accidents. Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) claimed sixty-six
people were killed by motorists with blood alcohol content over 0.08 in 2007!

 

PEDESTRIAN MOTER VEHICLE ACCIDENTS are the biggest danger trick-or-treaters face:

  • Apply reflective tape to dark costumes and trick-or-treat bags
  • Use light producing devices such as flashlights, glow sticks, and flashing decorations
  • Only cross at corners or at pedestrian walks, never between parked cars. Look both ways and listen for traffic before crossing.
  • If driving, try to avoid residential areas when possible. Do not let your family and friends get behind the wheel if they have been drinking! Sober and safe driving saves lives!

FIRE RELATED INJURY PREVENTION:

  • Make sure costumes are flame resistant and avoiding costumes with large, billowing materials, which could come into contact with candles more easily.
  • Never walk near lit candles and wear well-fitting masks and shoes to avoid blocked vision, trips and falls.
  • Indoors or outside, use only decorative lights that have been tested for safety by a recognized testing laboratory. The National Fire Protection Association recommends using only decorative lights outdoors with the proper UL listing for outdoor use! Be sure to check lights for broken sockets, frayed wires, and loose connections.
  • Indoors, keep candles and jack-o'-lanterns away from curtains, decorations and other items that could ignite. Do not leave burning candles unattended. If possible, use battery operated LED Lights which offer a similar, yet much safer effect!


10 ADDITIONAL HALLOWEEN SAFETY TIPS:

  • Put name, address & phone number in your child’s clothes in case they become separated.
  • Younger children should always be accompanied by an adult. If you feel your children are old enough to go out on their own, be sure you set guidelines regarding the area they stay within and give them a cell phone and a curfew.
  • Do a Google search for sex offenders in your area and do not go up to these homes.
  • Only go to homes where the lights are on.
  • Never allow your child to go inside a house. 
  • If you are going to allow them to enter a multi-unit apartment complex be sure to go with them and stay in well lit hallways.
  • Keep an eye out for tripping hazards such as low decorations.
  • Always keep your trick-or-treaters within your sight!
  • Examine your child’s candy when returning home. Advise them not to eat any candy until you make sure it is safe! 
  • Avoid eating any homemade food items and discard any candies that could cause choking.
  • Do not let kids carve pumpkins. They can draw the design and you should do the carving.
  • Costume accessories (swords & knives) should be soft and flexible.


In short, pick safe costumes, chose safe decorations for your home, keep a close eye on your
trick-or-treaters especially around traffic and perform a candy inspection when you return.
Have fun! Be Safe!