Nearly 90 percent of kids do Halloween activities and 73 percent of those opt to go trick-or-treating, according to Safe Kids. Unfortunately, children who go trick-or-treating can be at risk of Halloween pedestrian accidents.
Whether you are going trick-or-treating with your children or allowing them to head out on their own on Halloween night, it is important that you discuss the risks of collisions with them. Kids need to know about the very real potential dangers of becoming involved in an auto accident. While drivers have the primary responsibility to watch for children and avoid collisions, kids can stay safer if they follow some basic safety rules and avoid putting themselves in harms way.
Parents should have a discussion with children of all ages about road safety before Halloween night arrives. If you are going to trick-or-treating with younger kids, you should remind them they must stay with you and not run too far out ahead. You should go over the rules for staying on sidewalks and for only crossing the street when they get to designated crossing areas. If you are trick-or-treating with them in an area that does not have crosswalks, you should make certain they understand they are only to cross at corners.
If you are letting your kids go trick-or-treating on their own, you also need to go over the rules with them and remind them of how they can stay safe. While older kids know they need to look both ways before crossing, they could still end up doing dangerous things like stepping out from between parked vehicles and getting into the path of a car which cannot stop on time. Older kids should be reminded of the same safety tips as younger kids, including crossing at crosswalks.
If your kids are heading out on their own, you should also restrict the neighborhoods where they go to trick-or-treat to make sure the neighborhoods are as safe as possible and you should have them bring glow sticks or flashlights with them so they can make sure they are visible to drivers and so they can better see where they are going.
If your children trick-or-treat alone, you should also make certain they have a reasonable curfew, since many drivers won't expect to see kids trick-or-treating late at night, and you should ensure they check in with you via telephone at various times throughout the night.
Of course, even if your kids do everything right, they could still be hurt by a negligent driver. Know your rights and understand the law so you can pursue a claim against a driver who causes harm.