Halloween: Increased Death Rate for Kids

“Watch for upcoming pockets of lights along the sidewalk, street, or as they approach the porch light – these are great opportunities to add drama and dimension to those nighttime photos,” says Wilkerson.

Halloween is well known for spooky houses, clever costumes, and scouring the streets in search of tasty treats. Unfortunately, this holiday is also known for acquiring the title as one of the deadliest holidays of them all, especially for children.

On Halloween…

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… the death rate for children is doubled compared to any other day of the year.

 … children are four times as likely to be injured.

… the number of deaths among teenagers is twice that of younger children.

Even more, these statistics are specific to only one cause of injury or death: car accidents.

With the only holiday encouraging children and teens to roam the streets at night (in costumes that may even be camouflaged to the darkness) it’s not entirely surprising there are so many accidents. However, automobile dangers on Halloween are often overshadowed by fears of ‘stranger danger’ and tainted candies in the media.

The stress of meeting trick-or-treating and costume party curfews can have distracted drivers on the road rushing about. In addition, with so many teen/adult parties held on Halloween, the amount of drivers under the influence increases 23%. Distracted and impaired driving are already two of the most common causes of vehicle accidents. Add having to avoid tiny princesses darting across the road in every neighborhood and tragedy is bound to occur.

Before any of your children and family members head off on their Halloween escapades, it’s important to review the safety protocols in your community to reduce the chance of pedestrian accidents. Important subjects to touch base on may include:

  • STREET RULES– Review with your children the pedestrian traffic laws when they are trick-or-treating: walk facing the cars, always use sidewalks when possible or walk well in the grass, look both ways twice before crossing the street. Don’t forget to include any neighborhood specific areas to watch out for, such as busy intersections or main roads.
  • COSTUME CHANGES– Make sure your children are not dressed in costumes too difficult for drivers to detect. Reflectors and flashlights are perfect additions to help cars catch a glimpse of your kids if they are out in the dark.
  • ADULT SUPERVISION– We know kids like their freedom and independence. But if your child is not of the age to understand pedestrian traffic laws, they aren’t ready for trick-or-treating without an adult present.
  • LIMITED DRIVING DISTRACTIONS– Remind your teens of how to limit distractions in the car and keep their eyes on the road. No cell phones while driving, limit conversations with friends, and try to keep the music low to increase awareness of pedestrians on the road.
  • SAFE RIDE PLAN– If anyone in your family is attending a party where substances are present, remind them of the dangers of driving under the influence and create a Safe Ride Plan to ensure everyone gets home unharmed.

Halloween may be a tricky night, but the dangers faced by pedestrians when it comes to vehicle-related accidents are no joke. Play it safe, stay vigilant, and take no chances this upcoming holiday.

We know injuries sustained from pedestrian accidents can be devastating to both children and parents. If your child has sustained an injury as a result of a reckless pedestrian accident, contact Rosenberg & Gluck. Our personal injury attorney will provide a free, confidential legal consultation to help you learn more about your options.

Filed Under: Wrongful Death

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