The pumpkins are carved, and the candy is ready. Little pirates and princesses all across Philadelphia can hardly wait for the school day to be through so that they can put on their Halloween attire and collect treats. Every year parents hear cautionary tales about children being given tainted candy, but there are few instances of this occurring. A greater and better documented threat is traffic safety.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, children are most likely to be injured by a vehicle on Halloween. Because children are more likely to be in a pedestrian accident on this day than any other, it is important to discuss with trick-or-treaters important safety surrounding collecting their treats.
Of course, younger children should be supervised, but older children need to be aware of the risks as well. Naturally, children are very excited on this night, and sometimes this excitement causes them to use less caution when crossing the street than they would on a regular night. Further, masks and other costumes that inhibit vision can make it difficult for children to see approaching cars. Some suggest using face paint instead of masks, or cutting larger holes in masks to ensure that children have a full range of vision.
Similarly, it can be difficult for motorists to see small children in costumes that aren’t highly visible. To combat this issue, parents are urged to give their child a flashlight or a glow stick, or affix some reflective element to their child’s costume. Motorists in Philadelphia are strongly cautioned to use reduced speeds and remain alert while driving tonight.
Source: Standard-Examiner “CDC warns: Children more likely to be hurt in traffic accidents while trick-or-treating,” Jamie Lampros, Oct. 28, 2012