COVID-19 is having an effect on Halloween celebrations in Virginia. While trick or treating is still on, the Virginia Health Department is recommending some changes to how Virginia residents celebrate, including that children do not trick-or-treat in large groups or outside their own neighborhoods. Activities classified as higher risk include trick-or-treating where children go door to door and collect candy. And while there have been guidelines released regarding how children can stay safe against the virus while trick-or-treating, it is important to remember that there are also the “normal” Halloween safety rules everyone should be following.
Paying close attention to your child’s costume, the route they take in your neighborhood, as well as the behaviors of drivers on the road, can help to prevent potentially serious personal injuries. The following tips can help you as a parent to ensure your children stay safe.
While children eagerly look forward to Halloween and the bounty of candy they are likely to receive, for parents it can be one of the most worrisome nights of the year. Between ‘stranger danger’ and reports of tampered candy packaging, it is natural to feel some apprehension.
Making sure your child is accompanied by adults, takes a familiar, mapped out route, and refrains from eating any candy until you have inspected it can help to alleviate some of your fears. Other steps to avoid accidents and injuries include:
- Make sure costumes are flame-retardant and use electric candles in jack-p-lanterns to reduce fire and burn risks.
- Pick a costume that fits your child well, with no loose or hanging edges, to reduce slip, trip, and fall injury risks.
- Avoid masks, which can obscure your child’s vision, and do an allergy test before applying makeup.
- Use reflective tape to make your child more visible on the road and have them carry a flashlight with them along the way.
- Warn them against going into anyone’s home or accepting rides along the way, even if they know the individual.
If you have real concerns about the safety of your neighborhood, consider taking your children to community-sponsored events instead.
Safety on the Roads
Unfortunately, one of the biggest threats children face on Halloween is from passing motor vehicles. According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), Halloween is one of the most dangerous of the year when it comes to pedestrian accidents and injuries. Driver safety tips to help prevent these accidents include:
- Go slower than normal when coming home from work or events, which means several miles per hour below the speed limit.
- Avoid distractions and keep your eyes focused on the road and sidewalks.
- Be particularly cautious in areas where children congregate, such as at schools or near parks and recreation facilities.
- Come to a complete stop at traffic signs and signals and allow children plenty of time for crossing streets.
- If you notice a driver behaving in a reckless manner, notify law enforcement immediately.
Let Us Help You
At Shapiro, Appleton & Washburn, your family’s safety and wellbeing is our number one priority. When accidents and injuries do occur, contact our office to request a free consultation with one of our skilled Virginia personal injury attorneys. Our firm will work with you to ensure that you get the best possible financial outcome based on the circumstances of your case. Call our office today.
An experienced personal injury attorney with dual licensure in Virginia and North Carolina, Eric Washburn received a B.B.A. in Finance from James Madison University—initially worked in the information technology field before obtaining his law degree from Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Lansing, Michigan. Once an Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney in Danville, Va., Eric has been recognized by Super Lawyers Magazine as a “Rising Star” Super Lawyer in Virginia since 2014.