The fall season brings the joy of pumpkins, cooler weather, and - for kids especially - the enchantment of Halloween! Whether you decide to celebrate virtually, outside trick-or-treating, or by having a small gathering, there is always fun to be had on Halloween. However, remember to take precautions and use the guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for safety measures when gathering and extra tips for safe ways to celebrate.
A fun and magical night could take a turn in an instant, which is not thrilling to think. To keep the night remaining true to its enchanting nature, there are safety measures for walking, costumes, and driving that should be taken into consideration.
If walking the neighborhood, always remember to teach children to cross streets at corners, use crosswalks, and consistently look left and right even while crossing. Robert Haynes, one of our Threat and Risk Analysts states that, “staying alert is the most important safety tip when walking.” That means not looking down at a phone, device, candy bag, or anything that could cause distraction when crossing streets.
Making eye contact with the person in the car who should stop before you walk is crucial in knowing that they see you and it is safe to walk. You are more susceptible to danger if you are not alert to your surroundings.
Use sidewalks wherever possible, but if there is none, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible.
Driving on Halloween should be taken with extreme caution. Again, remaining especially alert as a driver is essential as excited children may move in unpredictable ways. Make sure to put away phone devices and all means of distraction. Keep to the posted speed limit or lower under unfavorable weather and take extra time to stop and look when at stop signs and crosswalks. Making eye contact with children and parents crossing the road as mentioned above, is a safety tip not just limited to Halloween night, but especially essential on this night as more distracted walkers are likely.
The most popular times for children to be out is between 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Costumes can also be made safer for Halloween. Be sure to have reflective tape on bags and costumes. The more the better, so they are more easily visible to drivers. Even glow sticks and flashlights can reduce the chances of children being unseen by distracted drivers.
Remember to also have proper fitting costumes to prevent trips and falls.
Suspicious Behaviors or Vehicles
Be aware of your surroundings and the people around you – especially if you are alone or it is dark. Trust your instincts. If you feel uncomfortable in a place or situation, leave right away. If you see any suspicious behaviors or vehicles, contact your local law enforcement agency if you are off campus or UT Police at 713-792-2890 if you are on campus.