A new study confirms fears children risk being in a traffic accident as they go door to door collecting treats on Halloween night. (Mike Segar/Reuters)

Halloween: reducing risks for children


October 31 is the day many children go door to door collecting candy and other treats but, at the same time, they increase their risk of having a traffic accident. The sun sets just before 6pm in most big Canadian cities on this day and most children go trick-or-treating just after that.

So it’s dark, there are slippery leaves on the streets, children are over excited, distracted by decorations on homes and and sometimes dart across the street before their parents can catch them.

43 per cent higher risk of death

A Canadian study of U.S. traffic statistics found the risk of a pedestrian fatality was 43 per cent higher on Halloween than it was on an evening one week before or one week after. Children aged between four and eight were 10 times more likely to die on Halloween. Although the statistics are for the U.S., conditions and habits on Halloween are the same in Canada.

Among the many distractions for children are bright Halloween decorations outside people’s houses. (Justin Tang/The Canadian Press)

Several Canadian organizations have issued safety tips to try to prevent accidents. Among them, Toronto Hydro says:

Drivers and cyclists are encouraged to stay safe by:
Obeying the speed limit
Avoiding distractions while driving, including texting or eating
Reducing speed during inclement weather; leaves on the road can cause slippery conditions
Ensuring headlights, brake lights and signals are working. Headlights should be turned on at dusk
Using hazard lights or high beams if necessary to alert others of your presence
Trick-or-treaters and pedestrians are encouraged to stay safe by:
Never assuming right-of-way, as visibility to drivers is reduced at night, and always checking both ways before crossing the street
Trying to make eye contact with drivers before stepping off curb
Wearing costumes that are light reflective and bright in colour, and avoid those that reduce visibility
Avoiding masks that can reduce a child’s vision
Using flashlights or glow sticks to help increase visibility to motorists
Crossing at traffic signals, crosswalks and stop signs on busy roads, never jaywalking

Avoiding the risk

To avoid the risk of a traffic accident, some parents prefer to have parties in their own homes. Daycare centres and schools often have their own parties or small parades during the day, but good luck trying to get the kids to settle for just that. Many still want to go out trick-or-treating.

Then dealing with the candy mountains of candy they collect and want to consume is another story for another day.

Tagged with: , , ,
Posted in Health, Society

Do you want to report an error or a typo? Click here!

@*@ Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 characters available

Note: By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that Radio Canada International has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Radio Canada International does not endorse any of the views posted. Your comments will be pre-moderated and published if they meet netiquette guidelines.

Netiquette »

When you express your personal opinion in an online forum, you must be as courteous as if you were speaking with someone face-to-face. Insults and personal attacks will not be tolerated. To disagree with an opinion, an idea or an event is one thing, but to show disrespect for other people is quite another. Great minds don’t always think alike—and that’s precisely what makes online dialogue so interesting and valuable.

Netiquette is the set of rules of conduct governing how you should behave when communicating via the Internet. Before you post a message to a blog or forum, it’s important to read and understand these rules. Otherwise, you may be banned from posting.

  1. RCInet.ca’s online forums are not anonymous. Users must register, and give their full name and place of residence, which are displayed alongside each of their comments. RCInet.ca reserves the right not to publish comments if there is any doubt as to the identity of their author.
  2. Assuming the identity of another person with intent to mislead or cause harm is a serious infraction that may result in the offender being banned.
  3. RCInet.ca’s online forums are open to everyone, without regard to age, ethnic origin, religion, gender or sexual orientation.
  4. Comments that are defamatory, hateful, racist, xenophobic, sexist, or that disparage an ethnic origin, religious affiliation or age group will not be published.
  5. In online speak, writing in ALL CAPS is considered yelling, and may be interpreted as aggressive behaviour, which is unpleasant for the people reading. Any message containing one or more words in all caps (except for initialisms and acronyms) will be rejected, as will any message containing one or more words in bold, italic or underlined characters.
  6. Use of vulgar, obscene or objectionable language is prohibited. Forums are public places and your comments could offend some users. People who use inappropriate language will be banned.
  7. Mutual respect is essential among users. Insulting, threatening or harassing another user is prohibited. You can express your disagreement with an idea without attacking anyone.
  8. Exchanging arguments and opposing views is a key component of healthy debate, but it should not turn into a dialogue or private discussion between two users who address each other without regard for the other participants. Messages of this type will not be posted.
  9. Radio Canada International publishes contents in five languages. The language used in the forums has to be the same as the contents we publish. The usage of other languages, with the exception of some words, is forbidden. Messages that are off-topic will not be published.
  10. Making repetitive posts disrupts the flow of discussions and will not be tolerated.
  11. Adding images or any other type of file to comments is forbidden. Including hyperlinks to other websites is allowed, as long as they comply with netiquette. Radio Canada International  is in no way responsible for the content of such sites, however.
  12. Copying and pasting text written by someone else, even if you credit the author, is unacceptable if that text makes up the majority of your comment.
  13. Posting any type of advertising or call to action, in any form, to Radio Canada International  forums is prohibited.
  14. All comments and other types of content are moderated before publication. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to refuse any comment for publication.
  15. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to close a forum at any time, without notice.
  16. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to amend this code of conduct (netiquette) at any time, without notice.
  17. By participating in its online forums, you allow Radio Canada International to publish your comments on the web for an indefinite time. This also implies that these messages will be indexed by Internet search engines.
  18. Radio Canada International has no obligation to remove your messages from the web if one day you request it. We invite you to carefully consider your comments and the consequences of their posting.