When you have small children, the hustle and bustle of Halloween can be a fun but busy affair. Getting them dressed and ready for trick-or-treating, Halloween parties, or school events can be tedious, which means the sooner you get them ready, the better…right? While it might seem like a good idea to have your child completely ready for Halloween before heading out, recent studies have shown Halloween costumes can actually pose a major threat to children if they ride in a car seat with their costumes on.
Much like the risks associated with bulky or oversized coats and car seats, some Halloween costumes can make your child’s car seat less effective. If the costume is large or too loose, the car seat’s harness won’t fit correctly and thus can’t offer as much protection in the event of a car accident.
Halloween Car Safety
This is particularly jarring because Halloween happens to be one of the most dangerous holidays with regard to child safety. In fact, children are more than twice as likely to be hit and killed by a car on Halloween than on any other day of the year. To help your child stay safe while in the car, follow these Halloween car safety tips:
- Get children dressed into their costumes once they arrive safely at their destination rather than before.
- Buy costumes that are flame resistant.
- Avoid oversized or loose costumes that do not allow a car seat to be buckled safely.
- Do not skip using the car seat because your child’s costume is too big.
General Halloween Safety
There are twice as many child pedestrian accidents on Halloween than on any other night of the year, and one reason for that may be based on the fact that, according to a recent survey, 12 percent of parents reported allowing their children under five to trick-or-treat by themselves, which should never happen. There are some things that everyone can do to make this a fantastic Halloween for the entire family.
To ensure you and your child have a safe and fun Halloween, follow these Halloween safety tips:
- Make sure your child can see and be seen. Make sure their costume is short enough so they don’t trip and incorporates reflective materials, and have them carry a flashlight or a glow stick for even greater visibility. Masks should not obstruct their vision.
- Don’t use decorative contact lenses – Decorative contact lenses might give your costume a finished look, but doctors and healthcare agencies strictly warn patients not to use them. The cheap products can cause a variety of complications, including infections, dry eyes, itchy eyes, and even blindness.
- Plan your route in advance, whether you are in your own neighborhood or another neighborhood. Map out the entire route and draw a map for the kids, as well, setting aside specific places to meet if someone gets separated.
- Avoid driving, if possible – More children are involved in auto-pedestrian accidents on Halloween than any other night of year. If possible, avoid driving between the hours of 5:30 pm and 9:30 pm to prevent child auto pedestrian incidents. If you do need to drive, always be on the lookout for children and other pedestrians.
- Be careful when crossing the street, only crossing at stoplights or stop signs.
- Check your candy – Kids are usually eager to tear into their Halloween candy, but it’s important that all candy is checked for tampering before ingesting.
- Don’t let children Trick or Treat alone – Children under the age of 12 should always be supervised when Trick or Treating. Supervision can help prevent accidents and other unimaginable tragedies. If your child is really little, a stroller or a wagon may be a great idea, this way they have something to return to after each house and it’s easier to keep your eye on them.
- Be on the lookout – Children will likely be distracted by decorations and candy, so it’s up to supervising adults to watch out for cars and any suspicious activity.
- Be a good host – If you’re giving out candy this Halloween, make sure your house and walkway are well lit and free of anything that could cause Trick or Treaters to trip and fall.
- Talk to your children about Halloween safety – It’s important to make time to talk with children about Halloween safety tips. Remind them to always be on the lookout for cars and never trust strangers who want them to come into a car or home.
Liggett Law Group Wishes Everyone a Safe Halloween
While you can take all the necessary steps to ensure your child’s safety, sometimes the negligence or recklessness of others can interfere. Unfortunately, only about 1/3 of parents talk to their kids about safety before trick-or-treating, and even a short reminder can mean the difference between a memorable holiday and an unthinkable tragedy. If you or a loved one find yourselves in an auto or pedestrian accident this holiday season, contact the personal injury lawyers at Liggett Law Group to see how we can help.