- New, larger sizes of chocolates and candies for adults to distribute to the “ghouls” and “goblins” in their neighborhoods;
- Scarier and more authentic costumes for children and adults alike; and
- Warnings and tips from public agencies and personal injury law firms about keeping your children safe.
While one can debate the necessity of scarier costumes and additional sugar in children’s diet, there are good reasons for the warnings and safety tips from personal injury law firms. Each year, California personal injury law firms like ours learn of or are called to assist with cases involving children and adults who were injured while trick-or-treating in their neighborhoods.
An Increasing Danger to Children and Adults Alike
Typical Halloween warnings offered by law firms and public safety officials call upon drivers to slow down and keep a sharp eye out for pedestrians walking about – especially in residential neighborhoods. Parents, too, are warned to walk with younger children, carry a flashlight, and discourage children from wearing dark costumes or costumes that obscure their faces and vision. However, there are other precautions parents and children should take to reduce the risk of being struck by a vehicle or otherwise being injured even further:
- Take a cellphone – but keep it put away while walking. If you are permitting your children to trick-or-treat by themselves, it makes sense to allow your children to take a cellphone with them in case of trouble. However, your children should be told to not walk while using the cellphone. Using a cellphone distracts your child from his or her surroundings, and your child can unintentionally walk into a street before looking for traffic or trip on an obstruction on the sidewalk if he or she is not paying attention.
- Do not enter the home of anyone with whom they are not familiar. Some individuals love Halloween and decorate the inside and outside of their houses for the occasion. However, children should be discouraged from entering the house of someone they do not know. If a child is invited inside for candy or scares, the child should decline and continue on with his or her trick-or-treating. The child should be encouraged to call for help if the individual is too insistent or if the child feels threatened. If the child wants to go inside, he or she should have a trusted adult friend or family member enter the home with him or her.
- Keep parents informed of their location. Parents and children should review where the children are permitted to trick-or-treat and what path they will take to visit houses on Halloween night. Some parents will have their children call and give “status updates” at predetermined times so that parents can know where their children are at and where they plan to go next. Thanks to technology and apps like “Find My iPhone,” parents may be able to track their children using the children’s phones’ GPS function.
Halloween can – and should – be a fun and safe night for children. With a little bit of preplanning and a safety-oriented mindset, this goal can be achieved.
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