Shoals Ambulance shares safety tips for trick-or-treaters
By Staff Reports
Fall weather, spooky house decorations and candy stocked on the shelves signal that Halloween is just around the corner. As families plan for costume parties and trick-or-treating, Shoals Ambulance offers safety tips to ensure everyone enjoys a safe and happy Halloween.
Halloween is the second most-popular family holiday with an estimated 41 million children participating in Halloween’s signature event – trick-or-treating. The activity often takes place after sundown, making the costumed children harder to see for motorists.
An insurance study revealed that over a recent 10-year period, the average number of fatalities of pedestrians under the age of 18 more than doubled on Halloween to 5.5 compared to 2.6 child deaths on other days of the year. The majority of the accidents didn’t occur at an intersection or crosswalk, and 55 percent of the victims were ages 5-15.
“Halloween is something children look forward to all year, but it’s also a holiday when they can be susceptible to injury,” said Blake Hargett, operations supervisor for Shoals Ambulance. “Many of these accidents involve motor vehicles. The children are focused on their candy and the next house and don’t always remember to look for cars. In the dark, motorists may not see the children. We have some tips on how you can prepare your family for a safe Halloween.”
Shoals Ambulance offers these safety guidelines:
- An adult should always accompany trick-or-treaters on their candy rounds.
- Check the label of children’s costumes to ensure the fabric is flame-resistant.
- Costumes should be brightly colored so as to be easily seen. If not, add reflective tape to the front and back of the costume.
- Use a flashlight. Your child will both be able to see and be seen by others.
- Remove any mask or headwear item that could limit eyesight before crossing a street or driveway.
- Stay in a group.
- Stay in well-lit areas and only approach homes with a porch light on.
- Use the sidewalk, if available, and cross the street as a group in established crosswalks or intersections.
- Don’t assume the right of way. Motorists may have trouble seeing trick-or-treaters, especially at dusk and after dark.
- Never cut across yards or use alleys.
- Homeowners preparing for trick-or-treaters should make sure the front porch and pathway are clear of hazards, such as fallen leaves, flower pots and hoses.