Beware! It’s almost the night of Halloween and there are many scary creatures lurking among us. Ghosts, goblins, ghouls, and… cars? Well, cars are perhaps the only scary creature we have any real reason to fear. On Halloween, children’s risk of being hit by a car is higher than any other day of the year.
This increased risk for trick-or-treaters is due to several factors such as the poor visibility at nighttime, higher than normal rates of impaired driving, and the fact that streets and sidewalks are simply not designed for children walking or playing.
In the spirit of Halloween, we have compiled a mini book, or rather, a blog of spells for pedestrian safety. These spells work almost like magic and are super easy to incorporate into your children’s Halloween preparations. They can be performed while choosing a costume, getting dressed, and learning skills around street smarts and road safety. (Also, remember to not lose vigilance of the COVID-19 creature and follow local public health guidance).
Spell for Easy Walking
When choosing a costume to wear at night, cast the easy walking spell to help trick-or-treaters walk alongside their friends and get as much candy as possible! To cast this spell, follow these steps:
- Ensure costumes are well-fitted to help prevent trips and falls.
- Use supportive footwear and avoid oversized and high-heeled shoes.
- Choose costume accessories that are short, soft, and flexible.
- Avoid masks that may block vision and refrain from using decorative contact lenses.
Spell for Visibility
When getting dressed and ready to go out at night, cast the visibility spell to help trick-or-treaters remain visible to drivers. To cast this spell, we advise:
- Incorporating bright, reflective clothing or patches into children’s costumes.
- Adorning children with reflective strips.
- Using flashlights or headlamps to guide the way.
Spell for Street-Smart Pedestrians
Before the big night, cast the street-smart spell to equip your group of trick-or-treaters with the knowledge and experience needed to get their treats safely. To cast this spell, follow these guidelines:
- Always walk with others and never alone; children under 12 should be accompanied by a responsible adult.
- Remain on well-lit streets and walk on sidewalks whenever possible, otherwise walk on the far edge of the road facing traffic.
- Walk, don’t run, between houses.
- Don’t cross between parked cars or out of driveways, and don’t cut across yards or take alleyways.
- Use crosswalks and look both ways before crossing the street.
- Don’t assume the right of way in case motorists have trouble seeing trick-or-treaters.
- Older children should know how and when to come home.
Spell for Safer Streets
Even if trick-or-treaters use all of these spells, they may still be at risk of harm from someone driving a car. That is why we recommend for grown-up witches and wizards to use their powers to cast spells for safer streets, so that children can stroll the streets on Halloween (and on any day/night of the year!), without fear of vehicles. There are many spells to improve street safety, but a good place to start is by casting this spell for safer streets:
- Contact your local school trustee, city councillor, and other local decision-makers about improving road safety conditions for children and youth.
We wish everyone celebrating a very safe and happy Halloween! Check out the resources below for more Halloween safety tips and explore SchoolTravel.ca and OntarioActiveSchoolTravel.ca websites for additional safer street spells – like traffic calming, reduced speed limits, and curb extensions.
Extra Resources for Halloween Safety
Infographic: Trick or Treat Checklist (CDC)
Video: Recipe for Preparedness – Trick-or-Treat (CDC)
For Drivers: Safety Tips for your car on Halloween (Jiffy Lube Ontario)
American Academy of Pediatrics. (2022, October 4). Halloween Health & Safety Tips. Healthy Children. https://www.healthychildren.org/English/safety-prevention/all-around/Pages/Halloween-Safety-Tips.aspx
CDC. (2019, October 29). Happy Hauntings: 13 Tips for a Healthy Halloween. Public Health Matters Blog. https://blogs.cdc.gov/publichealthmatters/2019/10/halloweentips/
CDC. (2017, October 27). Halloween Rules of the Road. Public Health Matters Blog. https://blogs.cdc.gov/publichealthmatters/2017/10/halloween-rules/
Staples, J. A., Yip, C., & Redelmeier, D. A. (2019). Pedestrian Fatalities Associated With Halloween in the United States. JAMA Pediatrics, 173(1), 101–103. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6583441/