Halloween is a major highlight in the calendar for kids (and some adults) across the province, with trick-or-treating, costume parties, and pumpkin carving in the cards for many of us. While trick-or-treating should be a fun and exciting time for kids, Halloween can also be more dangerous than any other time in the season.
A study led by UBC researchers John Staples and Candace Yip, found that about 43 per cent more pedestrian fatalities occur on Halloween night than on other nights in Autumn. The 2018 study examined US traffic data over a 42-year period. By following a few tips, you and your little ghouls can stay safer while trick-or-treating this year.
Keep well below the speed limit in residential areas, particularly during peak trick-or-treating time, between 5:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.
Children may run or walk in unexpected areas such as across parking lots or up driveways, and may dart out between vehicles. It’s best to be prepared to stop any time when driving. Drivers ahead of you may also be doing the same thing, so exercise patience this scary season.
Whether it’s a parent or a responsible older child lending a hand, younger children need help when it comes to crossing the street, particularly on a busy and distracting night like Halloween.
Going over the rules of the road with children is always a good idea. Make sure they know to use their eyes and ears when crossing. Halloween can be exciting, so a quick refresher on road safety means the information will be fresh in their minds.
Travelling in groups makes kids far more obvious to drivers, and therefore safer. Group trick-or-treating is advisable for kids of all ages.
Whether you’re a clown, a zombie, or vampire, choose a costume that is brightly coloured to increase visibility. If you or your child are wearing a dark costume, wear a reflective band or decal. Kids may argue that reflective gear cramps their style, but it could save their life.
Consider face paint instead of a mask, as they can often restrict peripheral vision, which is essential to observing the roads.
Talk to your kids about the safest way to explore the neighbourhood this Halloween. Enjoy a safe and spooky All Hallows’ Eve!