Halloween is supposed to a little spooky, but for a handful of unwitting families this year, a night of costumed innocence will turn into a nightmare from which they’ll never wake — the ghost of one poor decision haunting them for the rest of their lives.
The scary truth is that children are twice as likely to be involved in a fatal accident on Halloween night than on any other day. In the 21 year period of 1990-2010, October 31st saw 115 child pedestrian fatalities, an average of 5.5 per year. Most of the accidents (70%) occurred away from a crosswalk or intersection (often, in the middle of a block), and 60% took place between 5:00-9:00 PM, with an appreciable spike (26 of 115) during the sundown hour of 6:00-7:00 PM.
Even more sobering is the fact that young motorists (age 15-25) accounted for nearly a third of the accidents. At greatest risk are the young teens age 12-15 (32% of child pedestrian fatalities), followed by kids age 5-8 (23%). It’s a terrible mark to have hanging over you for the rest of your life; the death of a child.
For the 41.1 million estimated trick-or-treaters this year, Halloween is a perfect storm of hazards. Costumes are often dark colors, and kids are running around at night, often distracted by the siren call of confectioneries. The best way to make sure your child stays safe is accompany them while they trick-or-treat (yes, we know it’s not “gucci” to be seen in public with mom, but too bad), have them always check both ways before crossing the street (or better yet, use a crosswalk) and too ensure he or she carries a flashlight and sports some sort of reflective tape on their costume.
For those who will be out driving on Halloween night, slow down. In neighborhoods especially, slow down far more than you normally would, and stay hypervigilant. Kids are notorious for not looking where they’re going. Don’t let those extra five miles per hour be the catalyst of every parent’s worst nightmare.
Looking for some fun (and safe!) ways to celebrate the holiday? Keep an eye out for our upcoming post on Halloween events in the Los Angeles area.
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Check Out These References for Further Reading:
“Halloween Safety On and Off the Road.” National Safety Council. Retrived 24 October 2018. https://www.nsc.org/home-safety/tools-resources/seasonal-safety/autumn/halloween
“Halloween Safety Tips.” Safe Kids Worldwide. Retrieved 24 October 2018. https://www.safekids.org/tip/halloween-safety-tips
“Halloween: Oct. 31, 2018.” United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 24 October 2018. https://www.census.gov/newsroom/facts-for-features/2018/halloween.html
“The real danger on Halloween: Kids hit by cars.” USA Today. Retrieved 24 October 2018. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2012/10/28/halloween-kids-pedestrian-deaths/1652807/
“Halloween is ‘Deadliest Day’ Of The Year For Child Pedestrian Fatalities.” Sperling’s BestPlaces. Retrieved 24 October 2018. https://www.bestplaces.net/docs/studies/halloween_deadliest_day.aspx“
Making food allergies less scary at Halloween.” CNN. Retrieved 24 October 2018. https://www.cnn.com/2016/10/28/health/food-allergies-halloween-teal-pumpkin/index.html