Practice Halloween Safety
Halloween is more Irish than St. Patrick’s Day! Halloween’s origins come from a Celtic festival for the dead called “Samhain.” Celts believed the ghosts of the dead roamed Earth on this holiday, so people would dress in costumes and leave “treats” out on their front doors to appease the roaming spirits.
In 2015, about 6,700 pedestrian deaths and 160,000 medically consulted injuries occurred among pedestrians in motor vehicle incidents, according to Injury Facts 2017, the statistical report on unintentional injuries created by the National Safety Council.
NSC research reveals about 17% of these deaths occurred when pedestrians improperly crossed roads or intersections. Lack of visibility because of low lighting or dark clothing accounted for about 15% of the deaths. Other circumstances varied by age: Darting or running into the road accounted for about 15% of deaths in kids ages 5 to 9 and 7% for those 10 to 15.
Children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween than on any other day of the year, and October ranks No. 2 in motor vehicle deaths by month, with 3,550. August is first, with 3,642 deaths.
Rules to Practice for a Safe Halloween
- Drive slowly, anticipate heavy pedestrian traffic and turn your headlights on earlier in the day to spot children from greater distances. Take extra time to look for children at intersections, on medians and on curbs.
- Have children carry glow sticks or flashlights to help them see and be seen by drivers.
- Children and adults should be reminded to put electronic devices down and keep their heads up.
- When buying Halloween makeup, make sure it is nontoxic and always test it in by applying a small amount on the arm of the person who will be wearing it for about thirty minutes a couple of days in advance. If a rash, redness, swelling, or any other signs of irritation develop where the makeup was applied, it could be a sign of a possible allergy or adverse reaction.
- A responsible adult should accompany young children on the neighborhood rounds
- If your older children are going alone, plan and review a route acceptable to you
- Agree on specific time children should return home
- Teach your children to never enter a stranger’s home or car
- Instruct children to travel only in familiar, well-lit areas and stick with their friends
- Tell your children not to eat any treats until they return home
- All costumes, wigs, and accessories should be fire-resistant
- Avoid masks, which can obstruct vision
- If children are allowed out after dark, fasten reflective tape to their costumes and bags, or give them glow sticks
- Remove all makeup before children go to bed to prevent skin and eye irritation
On behalf of all of us at IFO Group, have a safe, fun, and festive Halloween!