The Food and Drug Administration recently published a “Lucky 13” list of safety tips to ensure a safe and enjoyable Halloween. Some of their safety tips include not wearing decorative contact lenses since they can cause serious eye injuries, wearing bright clothing so people can see you while you’re out trick-or-treating, and waiting to eat candy until it has been inspected when you get home.
The FDA’s safety suggestions are very good, but there a few additional tips that you should follow to ensure you and your children don’t end up looking back at this Halloween with regret or anger due to a serious accident or injury.
- Stay on sidewalks and only cross at designated crosswalks
During Halloween, many kids go out trick-or-treating and they let the excitement of the night get to them by rushing out into the street to get to a house and not looking both ways before crossing. This mistake is quite common. For example, in Texas, accidents involving pedestrians jumped 23 percent on Halloween, according to The AllState Corporation. Another disturbing statistic – the number of deaths among young pedestrians between the ages of 5 and 14 is four times higher on Halloween evening than any other evening of the year. Three pedestrians were injured on Halloween last year in Virginia (VA), according to the Southwestimes.com.
The same caution applies to drivers as well. Do not drive around on Halloween night like it’s any other evening. Also remember that Halloween is set to be observed on Monday even though the official holiday is on Sunday. Be vigilant of the fact that young children are likely to be walking around and may cross the street without much warning.
- Do not drink and drive
This is for our older Halloween celebrators who have moved on from trick or treating to parties where large quantities of alcohol are available. I’m not saying you can’t enjoy a drink, but if you plan to drink excessively, get a ride lined up or have a Taxi service listed in your cell phone. If you live in Alexandria, VA there is a free cab service offered beginning at 10pm on October 30 and go all the way to 6am on October 31, according to alexandrianews.org. The number to the free cab service is 1–800–200–TAXI.
- Keep Your Eyes on the Road
If it’s extremely cold outside, some parents opt to take their children trick or treating in their car driving door to door. If you decide to use this strategy, always keep your eyes on the road, keep your lights on and do not speed. As mentioned in tip #1, the statistics point to a dramatic increase in accidents involving pedestrians. No one wants to take the life or seriously injure a child or teenager. Accidents involving pedestrians routinely lead to life-altering injuries like spinal cord damage, multiple broken bones, amputated limbs, or brain damage. So remember to be extremely cautious if you’re behind the wheel in a neighborhood featuring trick or treaters.
About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper, Lewis & Appleton personal injury law firm (VA-NC law offices ) edits the injury law blogs Virginia Beach Injuryboard, Norfolk Injuryboard, and Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard as a pro bono service to consumers.