Wilmington Kids Face Car Accident Risks While Trick-or-Treating
Trick or treating is far-and-away the most popular way for children to celebrate Halloween. In fact, one recent study reported by Safe Kids found 89 percent of parents said their kids would be participating in Halloween and 73 percent of those kids would celebrate by going trick-or-treating.
Although trick-or-treating is very common and very popular, it is not without risks. The chances of a child dying in a pedestrian accident are doubled on Halloween night compared with any other day of the year, with the highest number of deadly pedestrian crashes occurring between the hours of 4:00 PM and 10:00 PM. Parents need to be aware of the potential dangers their kids face due to pedestrian car accident risks when parents make choices about the rules for Halloween night.
Should Parents Allow Kids to Trick-or-Treat Alone?
One of the most important decisions parents will make is when to allow children to go trick-or-treating alone. The majority of parents - 75 percent - say they have never allowed their kids to go trick-or-treating by themselves without adult supervision. Some kids, however, ask to go out alone and Safe Kids says parents often allow them to do so once the child is at least 12.
The reality is, any time a child or young adult goes out trick-or-treating by himself or herself without parental supervision, there is a greater risk of accidents. Even children between the ages of 12 and 15 are not safe. In fact, according to Republican Herald, it is kids within this demographic group who are actually the most likely to be killed in pedestrian crashes on Halloween night.
Older kids may be more likely to get hit by cars if they go trick-or-treating alone because they could take risks when with their friends and they could fail to follow some of the most basic safety rules, like always crossing at designated intersections. Of the pedestrian crashes which occur on Halloween night, 70 percent occur away from crosswalks or intersections and happen in the middle of the road.
Young children who go trick-or-treating with only older siblings to supervise are also in greater danger of pedestrian crashes. Twelve percent of parents have allowed children ages five and under to go trick-or-treating without supervision, and Safe Kids warns older siblings are not always good at watching younger kids as they get overwhelmed with Halloween excitement.
The bottom line is, parents need to think carefully about whether it is best for their children to be allowed to trick-or-treat alone despite the added dangers of pedestrian crashes. If children do go trick-or-treating on their own, parents should talk with them about Halloween safety.
Drivers should be on the lookout for kids of all ages out on Halloween night as well, since drivers sometimes make careless mistakes that cause even the most careful kids - and parents- to get into car accidents that can be deadly.