“Unfortunately, we see an increase in child fatalities on Halloween,” stated Windham State Farm Agent, Tricia Zwirner. “Kids are twice as likely to be hit and killed by a vehicle on Halloween night compared to other nights.”
Statistics show 23% of fatalities occur with children between the ages of five and eight; and 70% of accidents occur away from an intersection or crosswalk.
“Whether you’re trick-or-treating, driving or passing out treats at home, it’s important to remember these simple, but important safety tips,” Zwirner said:
If you’re going door-to-door
Always accompany young children.
Use caution during the “scariest” hours: between 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Studies show the hour between 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. is especially dangerous for pedestrian accidents.
Stick to neighborhoods with sidewalks. If you must walk on the street, keep to the far left, facing traffic.
Practice safe crossing procedures: Use crosswalk; wait for corners; and look left, right and left again before crossing.
Stick reflective tape onto costumes to make your child more visible. Also have him/her carry a flashlight.
Make sure costumes and shoes are the correct size to prevent tripping. Use face paint and leave masks at home. Masks can obstruct vision.
If an older child is venturing out without supervision, ask him/her to go with a group. Discuss the route and agree on a curfew. Give older kids cell phones so they can stay in touch.
If you’re driving
Be alert for children and eliminate in-car distractions.
Practice extra caution at intersections and corners.
Pull in and out of driveways carefully.
If you’re handing out treats
Keep your home brightly lit.
Clear debris and other obstacles from your lawn, sidewalks and steps.
Opt for battery-operated candles in jack-o’-lanterns instead of candles.
Keep pets kenneled or in another room.
Now let’s have fun and stay safe out there!