YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – More than 41 million people are expected to take part in Trick or Treating this year in the U.S.
It’s a fun evening for most, but statistics show that it’s also a dangerous night for many kids.
The numbers are alarming with 23 percent of fatalities on Halloween happening to children between the ages of five and eight years old, and 70 percent of accidents happen away from sidewalks.
Children are twice as likely to get injured or killed by a vehicle on Halloween than any other day of the year.
Some of the most common injuries coming into St. Elizabeth Hospital on Halloween are rolled ankles, sprains and cuts.
“We want an adult with kids at all times just so they can oversee and make sure things are safe and looking out for those potential hazards. We all know on Halloween the end game is to get as much candy in the least amount of time possible,” said Amanda Lencyk, trauma prevention and injury coordinator for St. Elizabeth Hospital.
Kids should always travel in groups, have a flashlight and stay on sidewalks. Staying off the street is the safest thing to do.
Drivers should be on extra alert Halloween night and slow down going through neighborhoods.
“Make sure your lights are on and make sure you are slowing down, especially if you are heading into residential areas but also in business parking lots, too because trick or treaters can come from everywhere,” Lencyk said. “Make sure you are backing up slowly and continually look for people.”
Pedestrians and motorists can follow these tips to increase pedestrian safety: (Source: Ohio State Highway Patrol)
- Walk on sidewalks whenever they are available. When no sidewalk is available, walk facing traffic as far away from the edge of the roadway as possible.
- Stay alert at all times, motorists and pedestrians should be prepared in case a hazardous situation arises.
- Don’t be distracted by electronic devices that take your eyes and ears off the road.
- Pedestrians should wear bright or reflective clothing and costumes and carry flashlights on the side closest to traffic.
- Pedestrians should cross where motorists expect them to, follow pedestrian signs and signals, and never assume a driver can see you.
- Motorists are required to yield to pedestrians in a marked crosswalk and in unmarked crosswalks at intersections.
- Motorists can use bright headlights when legally able to illuminate the roadway and possibly spot a pedestrian walking near the roadway.
- Motorists should slow down and drive cautiously in residential areas.
Another safety tip is to make sure costumes are the right size to prevent falls and choose face paint over masks when possible. Masks can limit a child’s vision.
“Children of all ages will be in costumes and walking throughout our neighborhoods,” said Colonel Richard S. Fambro, Patrol superintendent. “I am encouraging all motorists to be cognizant of the increased pedestrian traffic and drive with caution.”