Top Ten Tips to Keeping Children Safe this Halloween

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1. Keep your eyes on the road  

The number of pedestrians who are hit by vehicles increases during Halloween.  Whilst out trick or treating do not "text and walk."  If your eyes are on your phone they are not looking out for cars or for raised paving stones or potholes in the pavement or road.  It is very important to keep your eyes on the road for pedestrians to look out for cars and for drivers to look out for pedestrians.  Make sure you walk on the pavements and not in the road.

2. Green Cross Code and Glow in the Dark 

Ensure children know the green cross code so they are aware when it is safe to cross the road.  Try and ensure, as much as a Halloween costume allows, they wear bright reflective clothing or perhaps place strips of reflective tape on the costume.  Carry a torch, or glow sticks for the children, to make them readily visible to cars, motorcycles and bicycles.

3.  Go in a group and stick together

Ensure your children trick or treat in small groups and young children should be accompanied by an adult.  If older children are not accompanied by an adult provide them with a time to return home and make sure they have a mobile phone to use in case of emergencies.

4. Kill your speed 

If you are driving in built up residential areas reduce your speed to allow for an increased number of pedestrians.  The busiest times will be between 5 - 8pm.

5. Make sure the costume is fitting 

Ensure your child's costume is short enough to avoid them tripping over it and their footwear is suitable for walking and climbing steps.  Costumes should be fireproof given the close proximity to lit pumpkins.  Make sure your child can see clearly out of their costume if it covers their head and eyes.

6. Be accessible 

If you expect your home to be visited by trick or treaters make sure your property is well lit and clear of any tripping hazards.

7.  Be fire retardant

Use flame-less or battery operated tea lights in pumpkins instead of candles to prevent a fire hazard.  If you use candles keep them away from areas where they could easily catch a child's costume.

8. Mind the pets

Keep pets indoors and away from trick or treaters.  The last thing you want is your pet getting scared and protective of you and biting a small child.

9. Know thy neighbour 

Only trick or treat at homes where you know the home owner.  Children should never go into the home of a stranger.  Make sure your children are aware they should remain on the doorstep and not go inside no matter how tempting the promise of a sweet treat may be.

10. Obviously, don't drink and drive.

As we are all aware America takes trick or treating to a whole new level, Halloween in the States is a huge event on the calendar.  I was amazed to read that last year an American law firm, McDivvit Law offered a Safe and Sober Free Cab Ride Home programme for Halloween.

The free ride home was available from 10pm on 31st October through to 3am on the 1st November.  All you had to do for your free ride home was call a selected taxi firm and tell them the ride is on McDivitt Law!    The firm who work with clients who have lost loved ones in alcohol related crashes assist in the fight against drink driving by encouraging people to use their free ride home service.  They also run the programme over New Years Eve.

Following these helpful hints will hopefully result in your children enjoying a sweet filled trick or treat Halloween!  Be safe and don't let Halloween come back to haunt you!

Karen Thompson

Legal Executive
Personal Injury team 

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