Halloween “The Deadliest Day of the Year” for Kids
Child Pedestrian Car Accident Tops List
When parents think about the dangers of Halloween, they often think of strangers in vans abducting their children and poisoned candy. The reality is far less scandalous, but just as scary. According to Bridget Boyd, MD, pediatric safety expert and assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, pedestrian injury from car accidents are the number one cause of child injury for kids on Halloween.
State Farm Insurance has dubbed Halloween as the “Deadliest Day of the Year” for the risk of a child being involved in a child pedestrian car accident. Drawing from 21 years of data, State Farm and its research expert have unveiled that kids have a greater chance of being a victim in a fatal child pedestrian car accident on Halloween than any other day of the year, including the Fourth of July and New Years. On average, 2.6 children are killed in pedestrian car accidents every day; however, on Halloween, the number of fatalities more than doubles. An average of 5.5 child fatalities occur each year on October 31.
Nearly one-fourth of child pedestrian car accident incidents occur between 6:00-7:00 p.m., earning its name—the “deadliest hour.” While the prime Halloween hours are the most dangerous, child pedestrian car accidents still occur outside the normal hours. State Farm reported that over 60% of the accidents occurred in the 4-hour period from 5:00—9:00 p.m., leaving 40% of the accidents to occur outside the designated time frame.
It should not come as a surprise that 32% of child fatalities are children between the ages of 12-15 years old—an age where most parents allow their children to go at it alone. The next age group that is most at risk are children between 5 and 8 years old (23%). It seems the age group most likely to be a victim of a child pedestrian car accident is around the same age group as the drivers most likely to cause the fatalities. Young drivers ages 15-25 were responsible for about 1/3 of all fatal child pedestrian car accidents on Halloween.
Boyd suggested parents stress pedestrian safety to their children by making sure they use sidewalks and crosswalks. On a similar note, Boyd said teens should be deterred from driving on Halloween. Finally, because most costumes are unfortunately black, parents should put reflective stickers or lights on their children’s trick-or-treat bag or costume to improve visibility.