Staying safe this Halloween!
With all the excitement Halloween brings it’s also important to remember that it can be a scary time for parents for all the wrong reasons – after all it is the most dangerous holiday for children.
We know, Halloween this year is going to look a lot different. With trick or treating under review and restrictions on meeting with others constantly changing, it may seem like the safety concerns associated with the spooky season are also eliminated.
But, it’s important to remember the risks and be extra careful this year – plan your activities with caution and ensure your Halloween doesn’t turn into a nightmare. Here are our top tips for pedestrians, parents and home-owners on the accidents to watch out for this October:
IS TRICK OR TREATING BANNED IN THE UK THIS YEAR?
Trick or treating this year is banned in areas under local lockdown, as the activity would still count as mixing households – which is against the rules in most areas under local restrictions. This could mean up to 20 million Brits will be unable to take part in the notorious Halloween tradition.
People living outside these zones can take to the streets to scare and scour for treats, but they have to adhere to the ‘rule of six’ – in England this rule includes children. Social distancing and hygiene measures also have to remain high – such as standing well back when knocking on doors, regularly sanitizing hands and opting for individually wrapped sweets, so children aren’t touching something that others may have also touched while delving in for their treats, to then put straight in their mouths.
NEW WAYS TO CELEBRATE HALLOWEEN DURING COVID-19
Don’t worry, Halloween is not dead and gone. With trick or treating ‘killed off’ for so many of us, parents determined not to disappoint their little ones are carving up a range of innovative ideas to keep the excitement going.
One of the most popular ideas for children to keep the spirit alive is to take part in ‘scare trails’ or ‘pumpkin scavenger hunts’ – this could be scouring the streets in the dark to count pumpkins or even searching for the best decorated ‘haunted houses’. Many are also talking about communities coming together and hosting Halloween parties in their gardens, so children can show off their costumes for neighbours and passers-by to enjoy.
Households may also be opting for reverse trick or treating by dropping off pre-packed sweets on neighbours’ doorsteps to give them a special spooky surprise.
What seems sure is that whatever lockdown zone you are in this year, we will still see a large number of children out and about past dark to celebrate the spooky season.
ROAD SAFETY AT HALLOWEEN
October 31st sees a higher number of UK children aged 10 and under involved in road traffic accidents than at any point during the four-week period around Halloween.
Road traffic accident data by Churchill Car Insurance revealed that road traffic incidents increase by 75% compared to the rest of the month, with 49 child pedestrians involved in accidents on Halloween. Nearly twice the average number for the two weeks before and after October 31st.
The analysis also revealed that 47% of road traffic accidents involving child pedestrians on Halloween take place between 6pm and 9pm. On a normal day this would be 18%.
The combination of excitable children on the roads, poor lighting and dark costumes mean that drivers have to be extra vigilant.
TIPS FOR STAYING SAFE ON THE ROADS THIS HALLOWEEN:
- Plan a route in advance. This will stop you from getting lost and help you stay on well-lit roads and paths.
- Choose your costumes carefully. Don’t opt for bulky costumes which could impair hearing, vision or mobility. Dressing your child in fluorescent clothes or accessories as part of their outfit will also increase visibility on dark streets and alert drivers to their presence.
- Stop, Look, Listen. It can be common for children to get a little over excited at Halloween and forget the basic rules of the road. Remind them! Tell them not to zig-zag across the roads either. Stay on one side of the road and complete the stretch before safely crossing over to the other side.
BEWARE THE DECORATIONS ON YOUR HAUNTED HOUSE
With the nation determined to keep the Halloween fun alive this year, we predict more of us will be going all out to ensure those out on ‘scare trails’ are treated to some spooktacular sights.
We can’t wait to see some of the fantastic house displays across the country, but if you are planning to put on a spooky spectacle, ensure you keep it safe, as you are liable for any injuries which will occur on your property.
TOP TIPS FOR SAFELY DECORATING YOUR HOME THIS HALLOWEEN
- Don’t use open flame or candles. If costumes brush across these it can be a serious fire hazard. Flameless candles, light sticks and flashlights can provide a safe and equally impactful alternative.
- Remove obstacles from driveways. Ensure walkways are clear to avoid any nasty trips, slips or falls.
- Keep pets indoors. No matter how lovable and well trained they are, Halloween can cause them stress and anxiety which may cause them to act out of character.
We want everyone to have a Happy Halloween this year more than ever! To make sure you make the most of the night, remind yourself and your children of the safety guidelines to avoid your Halloween becoming a nightmare.