The greater Chicago area is home to countless children who excitedly are anticipating Halloween this year. Right now, many are finalizing their costumes, making plans on how to celebrate, and even laying out their route for trick-or-treating. If you have kids, you are probably familiar with this annual ritual already and may even be helping them get ready for Saturday. If you are, make sure that when you do a final check on their costumes, makeup, and bags for gathering candy, you also discuss with them the importance of acting safely when away from their homes.
It is an unfortunate reality that every year, children are hurt while trick-or-treating when an accident takes place. Some of those involve drivers who are not paying attention and may not notice a child while others may involve an excited trick-or-treater who darts out into traffic. Before Saturday, discuss the following safety tips with your children if they plan to celebrate Halloween:
Stick to a Parent-Approved Route: Parents are in a unique position to understand which roads are safe and which ones are relatively dangerous. Therefore, it is a good idea for parents to sit down with their children and to plan an approved route for trick-or-treating ahead of time. This may mean limiting your child to visiting homes in his or her neighborhood, sticking to areas with sidewalks, or refraining from crossing streets with heavy traffic. Whatever your concerns, make sure you address them before Saturday night so that your children will understand the boundaries you give them and not be distracted by the Halloween fun.
Dress for Safety: By now, most kids have picked out a costume they want to wear, so it may be too late to pick an outfit based on safety. But it is never too late to add accessories that can make your child more visible to passing motorists and others in the area. Consider the use of reflective material on exterior clothing or the use of glow sticks, flashlights, or other illuminating devices that will make your kids stand out to drivers. This is especially important if your child’s costume is dark and/or black, allowing the costume to blend in with the surroundings at night.
Only Cross at a Designated Crossings: When the promise of candy is right across the street, it can be tempting to dart across mid-block when you are young. If you are a parent, make sure your children understand that crossing a road anywhere other than a marked crosswalk can be extremely dangerous and should be avoided at all times. Cars anticipate and expect pedestrians to be in crosswalks but they do not look for them to appear suddenly in the middle of the road, and when pedestrians do appear in a street, an accident is likely to occur.
Ditch the Distractions: In today’s world, many children carry cell phones with them at all times. Even those who do not may have one on Halloween in case something happens and they need to reach a parent. But using a cell phone while trick-or-treating or walking near a roadway can be very dangerous and should be avoided except when absolutely necessary. Kids who use cell phones or other distracting electronic devices likely are not focusing on the traffic or even other pedestrians in the area, leading them to pay little attention to their surroundings and increasing the chances that they will be hurt.
The legal team at Abels & Annes, P.C. hopes that you and your children are able to celebrate an incident-free Halloween this year, but if the unthinkable happens and your child is injured or hurt in an accident, know that our lawyers will be standing by 24 hours a day, seven days a week to take your call and to discuss your legal options with a free, no commitment case consultation when you call us toll free at (855) 529-2442 or locally at (312) 924-7575.
Have a happy, safe, and candy-filled Halloween!
Prior Blog Entry:
GM Issues New Recall for Potential Engine Fires caused by Leaking Oil, Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, published October 27, 2015.