A safe – not ghoulish – Halloween

A safe - not ghoulish - Halloween

On Halloween, traffic accidents dramatically increase and property damage from mischievous tricksters rise. These Halloween safety tips help keep your kids and home safe.

With Halloween just around the corner, fun, fright, and frivolity can’t be far away. It’s an exciting time of year, but it can also be a distressing one if care isn’t taken to avoid accidents. It’s also a good time to take precautions at home to keep the bigger devils from making mischief on your property.

Halloween accidents can happen on a number of fronts, including on the roads. Statistics Canada reports that Criminal Code traffic violations, such as impaired driving and dangerous driving, go up on Halloween night—a 32 percent increase in the week from October 24, 2010 to October 31, 2010.

This means that the risk to pedestrians and little ghouls and goblins on Halloween night is even greater than it would be on other spooky nights.

If you’re planning to skip Halloween in favour of a get-together at friends’ or relatives’ homes, you might want to reconsider—or at least make your property devil-proof before you go.

According to Stats Can, the percentage increase in property violations, such as general mischief, arson, theft, and break and enter reported to police last October 31st, compared with the week before—October 24th—was 30 percent. As well, the proportion of all criminal incidents reported during Halloween of 2010 that were violations against property amounted to 46 percent.

Some safety tips

For drivers:

  • Be alert, watch for kids at intersections, and stay within the posted speed limit and even slower in neighbourhoods where trick-or-treaters may be prowling. Children are easily distracted and difficult to see in dark costumes, particularly if they run out between parked cars.
  • Don’t drink and drive.

For pedestrians:

  • Put reflective tape on the front and back of costumes to make children more visible to cars, especially if their costume is made of a dark, nonreflective material. Better yet, choose bright costumes that reflect light.
  • Carry light sticks or a flashlight.
  • Make eye contact with motorists.
  • Avoid masks or head pieces that reduce children’s vision; use safe Halloween makeup instead.

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