Death is no joke at Halloween

By • Published: October 30th, 2009
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

The living dead and gory headless creatures walk Halloween night in search of sugary treats.

But death is no joke at Halloween. For child pedestrians, it’s the deadliest evening of the year.

Four times more children die while walking the streets at Halloween than on any other night of the year, according to a study based on twenty years’ worth of motor vehicle crash data.

The study, done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, analyzed data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on crashes on public roads that resulted in a death within thirty days.

The researchers looked into annual pedestrian deaths during the hours of four and ten the evening of October thirty-one. On average, four children a year in the age group five to fourteen years died during those hours. By comparison, there was just one death a day during those hours on the non-Halloween days of the year.

The true number of Halloween deaths might be even higher than reported, though, since the database did not include off-road crashes such as in parking lots, driveways and sidewalks.

Still, there are ways to play it safe while having fun.

Parents: Set a curfew and map out a route for children in a known neighborhood.

Kids: Use flashlights and wear bright clothing that isn’t so loose it can trip you. Make sure to stay on sidewalks and don’t cross in the middle of the street.

Motorists: Drive slowly and watch for children in roadways and driveways.

That way the only scare will be the monsters at your door.