Two big events happening this week: Halloween and End of Daylight Saving Time
Halloween can be a fun time of year. But, it can also be tragic. Please take the time to review some safety tips below from the National Safety Council.
Also, Daylight Saving Time ends on Sunday November 3, 2019 @ 2 am. Turn your clocks back one hour and enjoy an extra bit of snooze time. See some safety tips below for this change in daylight hours.
Halloween Safety On and Off the Road
Kids love the magic of Halloween: Trick-or-treating, classroom parties and trips to a neighborhood haunted house. But for moms and dads, often there is a fine line between Halloween fun and safety concerns, especially when it comes to road and pedestrian safety.
In 2017, 7,450 pedestrians died in traffic or non-traffic incidents, according to Injury Facts. Non-traffic incidents include those occurring on driveways, in parking lots or on private property.
NSC research reveals almost 18% of these deaths occurred at road crossings or intersections. Lack of visibility because of low lighting at night also plays a factor in these deaths.
Here’s a scary statistic: Children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween than on any other day of the year. In 2017, October ranked No. 2 in motor vehicle deaths by month, with 3,700. July is No. 1, with 3,830 deaths.
To help ensure adults and children have a safe holiday, the American Academy of Pediatrics has compiled a list of Halloween safety tips. Before Halloween arrives, be sure to choose a costume that won’t cause safety hazards.
- All costumes, wigs and accessories should be fire-resistant
- Avoid masks, which can obstruct vision
- If children are allowed out after dark, fasten reflective tape to their costumes and bags, or give them glow sticks
- When buying Halloween makeup, make sure it is nontoxic and always test it in a small area first
- Remove all makeup before children go to bed to prevent skin and eye irritation
When They’re on the Prowl
- A responsible adult should accompany young children on the neighborhood rounds
- If your older children are going alone, plan and review a route acceptable to you
- Agree on a specific time children should return home
- Teach your children never to enter a stranger’s home or car
- Instruct children to travel only in familiar, well-lit areas and stick with their friends
- Tell your children not to eat any treats until they return home
- Children and adults are reminded to put electronic devices down, keep heads up and walk, don’t run, across the street
Safety Tips for Motorists
NSC offers these additional safety tips for parents – and anyone who plans to be on the road during trick-or-treat hours:
- Watch for children walking on roadways, medians and curbs
- Enter and exit driveways and alleys carefully
- At twilight and later in the evening, watch for children in dark clothing
- Discourage new, inexperienced drivers from driving on Halloween
Daylight Saving Time End Safety Tips
The end of daylight saving time can leave many feeling fatigued, which can pose safety risks both at home and in the workplace. Some things to keep in mind when switching back to standard time are:
Fatigue — Studies suggest that it takes people who work traditional hours several days to fully readjust their sleep schedule after the time change. While it may seem a welcome gift to get an extra hour of sleep as opposed to losing an hour in the spring, there is a physiological consequence to changing our clocks. Don’t be surprised if you feel a bit sluggish during the first week or so of November.
Accidents — Evidence suggests that time changes increase safety problems both at work and at home. Just being aware of the increased risk of accidents in the period immediately following the time change may help you stay alert. Try to avoid building up a sleep debt in the days before the change.
Safety professionals have long used the start and end of daylight saving time as reminders for performing recurring safety tasks. Use the occasion of setting your clocks back as a cue to:
- Check and replace the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms. Ensure they are working properly and replace the batteries. As the cold sets in and many start up their gas-fired furnaces, fireplaces, portable unit heaters and the like for the first time, carbon monoxide poisoning risks increase dramatically during this time of year. Replace any smoke alarm unit that is older than 10 years. Replace any CO alarm unit that is older than 5 years.
- Prepare a winter emergency kit for your automobile. Such kits can be a lifesaver if you are stuck out in bad weather while driving. They should include items such as: warm clothes, blanket, flashlight, batteries, water, non-perishable snacks, shovel, flares, reflective hazard triangle, jumper cables, cat litter or sand for traction, ski hat and gloves.
- Check to see if your fire extinguishers need recharging. Check the small gauge at the top of the extinguisher. If the needle in that gauge is in the green, chances are, the extinguisher is okay. If it is in the red, you need to have the extinguisher recharged.