If you read my last blog on teenage driving and how it can ruin your finances you are likely scared to death already. If you haven’t read it and have teen drivers I highly suggest you do. But, this blog will help alleviate some stress related to the upcoming spooky holiday. Let’s explore the top 4 ways we can keep our kids safe this Halloween.
It may sound silly, but walking safely is important. Kids run to and from houses. They want to gather as much candy as possible. They want to “hit up” as many houses as they can. However, remember to tell your kids to always cross street corners. Don’t run across the middle of the street thinking that traffic is ready for you to bolt out in front of them. The Florida traffic laws are clear. You are not supposed to walk down the street or cross without a crosswalk when one is reasonably available. This is especially true if you are crossing a street that is not residential and has a traffic light. Let kids know their phones need to be in their pockets and not in front of their eyes when on the street. Phones kill pedestrians every year by distracting people who literally walk out into traffic watching their handheld electronic devices. Watch the road. Cars kill!
Another hint, IF it is light enough out, teach your child that they can literally MAKE EYE CONTACT with the driver. That eye to eye contact saves lives every day. Nobody ever hits a person they have acknowledged and looked at. If there is a sidewalk the law says pedestrians must use them. Don’t walk down the street if there is a sidewalk. But if there is NOT a sidewalk then teach your kids to walk facing the traffic. They need to walk on the far left side of the road and watch out for approaching cars. If a car looks like it is getting close be prepared to step onto the grass.
Also, remind your kids that people backing up have a hard time seeing everyone around them. Not everyone has a good range of motion in their neck and back and they simply don’t see enough of what is behind their car before they start to move. The trick is to know that you must avoid the cars, don’t count on them avoiding you!
Taking a parent along is a great idea for all kids. But if your child is not yet 12 there should be no argument. An adult must tag along. That can be from a safe distance watching them kids go house to house. It is simply not good common sense to allow a young child out in to the night without adult supervision. More mature kids can go out without supervision, but they should stay close to home, or in confined gated communities. If your child is old enough to go out all night without an adult, I’d venture to say they probably should give up the Trick or Treating thing and just stay home and pass out candy!
COSTUME CHOICES COUNT
Costumes must be bright and visible. It is great to have a cool all-black ninja outfit. I have always wanted to be a ninja. I get it! But that does not mean you can’t be both all black and very bright. There are loads of reflective options to light up even a fully black outfit. Spend the $5.00 and get some reflective tape, glow-in-the-dark stickers and, a glowing light stick. That stuff stands out really well and can save your child’s life. Also, the capacity to see is a big one. Using face paint and not a mask will help keep your child comfortable (no one likes a mask), and safe. Also, getting a costume that fits will help as well. There are plenty of broken wrists and legs and arms from kids who are running around and literally trip over their own costumes. Just be cognizant of how the costume fits and don’t set your child up for a fall.
REMEMBER TO DRIVE WITH EXTRA CAUTION ALL NIGHT
We must all remember to SLOW DOWN on Halloween. There are so many children out and they are just kids. They will remember all the warnings on this blog for 9 seconds. Then they will be running back and forth across the street to get to the next great house. Keep it in mind when driving. Always be extra careful and try not to drive in residential areas if at all possible. Make sure you are not distracted by anything (not your phone, the radio, or kids playing in the backseat). Drive in a way where you are anticipating lots of kids on the street, stopped traffic, and shadows darting out in front of your headlights! The most popular hours for going out are from 5:00 pm until 9:30 pm. Try not to drive at that time. In fact, get home, put on a scary outfit, and enjoy passing out candy to the kids!
Everyone here at LaBovick Law Group wishes you a happy and healthy and safe Halloween Holiday. Trick or Treat!!!