ORINDA, Calif. — Even if your children are not trick-or-treating on “Elm Street,” Halloween can be a safety “nightmare” for moms and dads, says Gillin Jacobson Ellis & Larsen (GJEL Accident Attorneys), a catastrophic injury and wrongful death law firm in the San Francisco Bay area.

Children are more than twice as likely to be killed by a vehicle while walking on Halloween than any other night of the year, according to Safe Kids USA. In an analysis of deaths from 2002 to 2006, the group found that an average of 2.2 children are killed in pedestrian accidents from 4 to 10 p.m. on Halloween, compared with one child every other evening at the same time. More than 540 kids under age 14 are killed in pedestrian accidents each year.

“Communities typically do a great job of trying to keep kids safe on Halloween by encouraging daylight trick-or-treating and implementing curfews,” said Andy Gillin, managing partner of GJEL Accident Attorneys. “It’s up to parents and guardians to do the rest by following logical safety precautions.”

How to Enjoy a Safe Halloween:

  • When escorting kids around neighborhoods, be mindful to use cross walks and always avoid jaywalking. Nearly 80 percent of pedestrian deaths occur between intersections, according to Safe Kids USA.
  • Dress kids’ costumes with reflectors and give them glow sticks. Adults should carry a flashlight both to illuminate walkways for children and to alert motorists that trick-or-treaters are in the vicinity.
  • Check with the local police department to determine the safest areas to trick-or-treat, especially when going door to door in a new neighborhood.
  • Check the local directory to identify any sex offenders in the area in which you live, where older kids may be unescorted, or nearby friends’ homes.Avoid these addresses.
  • Ensure children eat only wrapped candy or other items.
  • Prior to turning the kids loose to trick-or-treat, inform them about stranger danger and any adults who invite children inside to pick a treat. Never allow any children to enter someone’s home.
  • Escort all ages of kids under 12-years-old through the neighborhood, and ensure children respect the property of homes with lights off.
  • About Gillin Jacobson Ellis & Larsen
    GJEL Accident Attorneys is a San Francisco Bay Area law firm representing plaintiffs in catastrophic injury and wrongful death cases. Since 1972, Gillin Jacobson Ellis & Larsen has obtained recoveries in more than 99 percent of its cases.