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Halloween Scares In NYC- How To Stay Safe

kids at halloween
Happy brother and two sisters on Halloween. Funny kids in carnival costumes indoors. Cheerful children play with pumpkins and candy.

Halloween night is one of the most exciting times of the year for children and families. But it can also be one of the deadliest. According to the Safe Kids Worldwide, twice as many children are killed when walking on Halloween compared to any other night of the year. In New York City, the risks for fatal traffic accidents are even higher.  

Additionally, thousands of children are injured every Halloween from hazards related to costumes, crowds, and candy mishaps. Between trick-or-treating and fall festivities, there is an endless number of events to bring New Yorkers out of their homes this week. All families can celebrate safely by knowing the Halloween dangers unique to NYC and how you can enjoy this spooky night without making a trip to the emergency room.  

Avoid Deadly Roads  

The constant traffic and congestion in NYC won’t pause for Halloween. Children can sustain life-threatening injuries if they wander on to the road or if cars are not paying attention to groups crossing the street.  

Keep your trick-or-treating group away from the streets whenever possible. Only cross at crosswalks and do not let children run ahead. If you are driving, stay alert to the road. Children are unpredictable, and you never know when a trick-or-treater could dart out in front of you.  

Stay Visible 

Make it easy for drivers to see you when it starts to get dark. Avoid dressing your children in dark colors. Use a blend of light and neon-colored costumes, reflectors, or fun lights to stay visible. Flashlights, glow sticks, and Halloween lanterns are also great options to catch a driver’s attention.  

Stay Together  

New Yorkers of all ages will be hitting the streets to celebrate Halloween. Make preparations with your group before heading out to stay together. Use the buddy system and make sure there are enough adults to supervise all trick-or-treaters in the group.  

Dress Safely 

Costumes are the best part of Halloween…when they are safe. Just because a costume is made for a child does not mean it can’t cause them harm. If you are buying a costume, make sure the material is flame-resistant and is not made from materials that can cause irritation. Shorten up long costumes to avoid tripping and leave the dangerous props at home.  

Check Your Treats 

Unfortunately, you don’t know everyone behind every door. Don’t take a chance with your child’s health. Teach your children to avoid eating candy that is unwrapped, ripped, or homemade from someone that you do not personally know. Aside from the risk of tampered treats, homemade goods that are not properly kept can lead to foodborne illnesses.  

Go For Non-Food Treats  

Food allergies do not have to ruin your child’s Halloween fun. Many residents in NYC are starting to give out non-food treats to trick-or-treaters with life-threatening and serious food allergies. Look for the teal pumpkins in your area to signify homes that are participating.  

Talk To Your Teens 

If your teen is heading out to celebrate Halloween on their own this year, talk to them about celebrating safely. Provide them a way to contact you in an emergency, schedule check-ins throughout the night, and encourage meeting up at some point if you’re in the same area.  

If your teen is attending a party, review the dangers of intoxicated driving and prepare a transportation plan to and from the celebration.  

Stay Sober 

Parents should also be staying sober when out supervising trick-or-treaters this year. Traffic accidents in NYC can happen in the blink of an eye. It only takes a second for a child to run on to a busy road, and it can be hard to react in time if you are impaired.  

Reduce Distractions 

Take a few photos and videos of the night, but don’t let your phone become a dangerous distraction. If you are looking at your phone, you can miss your child heading for a disaster. If possible, designate a parent to take photos of the night to avoid distractions.  

Hit The Shops 

NYC is full of businesses that welcome trick-or-treaters to their doors. If your neighborhood is not ideal for trick-or-treating, look to see what local stores near you will be handing out goodies this Halloween. Here are a few ideas! 

If You See Something- Say Something  

Not everyone is going to practice safety on Halloween. There will always be those who are out to cause chaos and play tricks. Report concerning behaviors in your neighborhood to local law enforcement to help keep everyone safe this week.  

Our team at Pazer Epstein Jaffe Fein & Gozenput, P.C. wishes everyone a safe and fun-filled week of festivities. Happy Halloween, NYC! 

Contact us using our convenient online form or feel free to phone us in New York at 212-227-1212, or in Huntington/Long Island at 631-864-2429.

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