Halloween Safety Tips from the Law Firm of Michael T. Gibson

Halloween is an exciting time of year for kids of all ages. If you’re a parent your child has probably been talking about this day for weeks now. With all of the excitement over costumes, candy and decorations, it’s important to remember that this holiday can pose potential hazards.

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) the potential for auto accidents involving young children increases four times on Halloween night. This is in part due to the peak trick-or-treating hours being from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., and the fact that many costumes are dark-colored, making it difficult for drivers to easily spot children at night.

At the law firm of Michael T. Gibson we would like to offer the following tips to parents and homeowners to ensure this Halloween is safe and fun for everyone. If you or a loved one has already had a Halloween related incident then learn what a skilled personal injury lawyers can do for you?

Safety Tips for Trick-or-Treaters and Parents:

  • Children under the age of 12 should never trick-or-treat alone without adult supervision. Accompany your child, stick to familiar areas that are well lit and stay in a group.
  • If your older children are trick-or-treating with their friends, plan and review the route that is acceptable to you. Agree on a specific time when they have to return home.
  • Older kids who do not need adult supervision should still travel with a group, never alone.
  • Children should carry flashlights to be more visible to drivers.
  • Parents should plan their kid’s route and establish a set time to be home.
  • Only trick-or-treat at well-lit homes and never accept rides from strangers.
  • Remind kids to never go beyond the doorway and never talk to strangers.
  • Teach your children to make eye contact with drivers before crossing the street and to never assume the right of way.
  • Put electronic devices away when walking and crossing the street. Keep your head up and alert for vehicles. Never assume the right of way.
  • Instruct your children to always walk on the sidewalk, cross the street at marked crosswalks and use traffic signals to get across the street safely.
  • Drivers need to slow down, especially in residential neighborhoods and anticipate heavy pedestrian traffic on Halloween night. Children are unpredictable and with the excitement of Halloween will not always be looking for cars.
  • Popular trick-or-treating hours are from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., so drivers need to be especially cautious during this time. Eliminate any vehicle distractions and concentrate on the road and your surroundings.
  • Try to trick-or-treat while it’s still day light. Parents should always accompany younger children.
  • At the end of the evening, examine your child’s candy for any choking hazards and any sweets that may have been tampered with. Discard any “homemade treats” your child may have received from strangers or any other suspicious candies. Limit the amount of sweet treats they eat.
  • Parents should inspect all candy bags to make sure it’s safe and the candy has not been tampered with.

Halloween Parties:

  • Keep candles and jack o’ lanterns away from doorsteps, walkways, landings and especially curtains. Make sure they are placed on sturdy tables and away from pets and small children.
  • Walking areas and stairs should be well-lit and free of obstacles that could result in a trip-and-fall.
  • Do not let impaired guests drive home. Before the party, remind guests to plan ahead and designate a sober driver if they plan on drinking.
  • Offer a selection of alcohol-free beverages and serve plenty of food.

Safety Tips for Homeowners:

  • Turn on your porch light to let children know they are welcome. Do the opposite if you do not want visitors on Halloween.
  • Keep candles and jack o’ lanterns away from doorsteps, walkways, landings and especially curtains. Make sure they are placed on sturdy tables and away from pets and small children.
  • Walking areas and stairs should be well-lit and free of obstacles that could result in a trip-and-fall.
  • Clean up any potential obstacles such as gardening tools or lawn decorations that can cause a trip and fall.
  • Everybody loves a lit pumpkin on the front porch. It is important to remember that if you put a candle in the pumpkin; make sure the flame does not come into contact with a child’s costume. Battery-powered lights are safest for jack-o’-lanterns.

Halloween Statistics

  • Halloween Deadliest Day of the Year for Child Pedestrian Accidents
    According to the 21 year analysis, 115 pedestrian fatalities occurred on Halloween. That is an average of 5.5 fatalities each year on October 31, which is more than double the average number of 2.6 fatalities for other days.
  • “Deadliest Hour”
    Nearly one-fourth (26 out of 115) of accidents occurred from 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. Over 60% of the accidents occurred in the 4-hour period ranging from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m.
  • Most Hazardous Area
    More than 70% of the accidents occurred away from an intersection or crosswalk.
  • Ages Most at Risk
    Most of the fatalities occurred with children ages 12-15 (32% of all child fatalities), followed by children ages 5-8 (23%).
  • Drivers Who Posed the Greatest Risk
    Young drivers ages 15-25 accounted for nearly one-third of all fatal accidents involving child pedestrians on Halloween.
  • Drivers Who Posed the Lowest Risk
    Drivers ages 36-40 and 61-65 were involved in the fewest child pedestrian fatalities on Halloween.

Related Resources

Still Have Questions About Halloween Safety? Call Us Anytime: 407-422-4529

At the law firm of Michael T. Gibson, we want you to have a safe and Happy Halloween! If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Our experienced team of Orlando personal injury attorneys can help you obtain compensation for medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering. Please feel free to fill out our quick contact form on our website or call us today to set up a free consultation to discuss your case at 407-422-4529.

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