Many children and their parents are busy making adjustments to Halloween costumes and carving pumpkins because the candy-filled holiday is just around the corner. While Halloween can be a lot of fun for children and adults, parents can mitigate the potential safety risk, including those posed by scary clowns, with a few simple precautions. Scary clowns come out in force this time of year and can cause an array of incidents resulting in serious injury. The creepy clown epidemic has even elicited a reaction from the White House.
The White House recently held a briefing in which the creepy clown epidemic was acknowledged as a problem. At the press briefing, the public was informed that local law enforcement agencies had contacted the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI for assistance in responding to the wave of creepy clown sightings that have resulted in over a dozen arrests. This blog post provides suggestions that can help avoid harm caused by scary clowns and other Halloween hazards.
- Distracted Driving: During Halloween, drivers are faced with many distractions that include parties in front yards, decorated houses, and interesting costumes. The possibility of a car accident can increase with this high number of distractions. Parents can reduce the risk of their child being hit by a distracted driver by having their children wear a bright colored costume or reflective tape. Children should also carry a flashlight and remain with an adult while trick-or-treating.
- Stranger Danger: While many scary clown injuries are the result of an accident when children run away. Halloween can be an invitation to predators and bullies. Parents can help keep people with bad intentions away from their children by reminding their little ones not to talk to strangers and to travel in groups. Although the best safety option is to trick-or-treat with an adult, groups of children are safer than a child who is alone. The White House briefing specifically focused on creepy clowns committing or threatening criminal acts.
- Distracted Pedestrians: Many teenagers who trick-or-treat might be tempted to continue posting to social media sites or text back and forth with friends. The distraction associated with watching a cell phone screen poses a significant risk of a trip and fall or slip and fall accident for pedestrians. Young children and teenagers might fail to notice obstructions, uneven sidewalk, or approaching vehicles when distracted by their cell phone.
- Dog Bites and Attacks: Many people celebrate Halloween by sitting in front of their home to dispense candy and observe the costumes. People also open and close their door frequently. These situations often result in a dog getting loose or being allowed to roam the front yard. Children should be reminded not to approach or pet an unfamiliar dog. Approximately 800,000 people per year seek medical treatment for dog bites or canine attacks with almost half (386,000) being children.