Posted in on October 21, 2016

Halloween Safety Tips for Colorado Teens

Halloween is supposed to be spooky for kids, but some parents of teenagers might be equally scared of the looming holiday. A study by Safe Kids Worldwide found that only one-third of parents talk to their kids annually about Halloween, although three-quarters have fears about Halloween safety. Groups of teens are known for getting into trouble on Halloween, but that’s no reason to avoid talking to your teen about their plans. If you unknowingly let your teen roam the streets on the holiday, it could lead to an accident or injury to your child or someone else’s.

The best way to keep your teens safe and out of double trouble this Halloween is by communicating openly about pranks and parties long before they happen. Here are a few essential rules to consider to keep your upcoming Halloween safe and incident-free.

Drive carefully in neighborhoods There are twice as many child pedestrian deaths on Halloween than other day of the year. If your teens drive, remind them to slow down and look carefully for small children, who may be dressed in dark clothing or excitedly jump out in front of cars. If possible, don’t have your teen drive from house-to-house while trick or treating to avoid teenage car accidents altogether.

No horseplay or pranks while driving If you have a prankster, clearly communicate the risks of pranks like pumpkin smashing or egging homes. While these are usually not good ideas to start with, they are actually more dangerous on Halloween because of the increased pedestrian activity. Besides injuring themselves or
trick-or-treaters, dangerous teen drivers can also find themselves in trouble with police. Remind your teens that there will be more police patrolling the neighborhoods, so they could actually end up with a hefty ticket or juvenile charges.

Stay attentive to younger siblings
Many parents send their youngest children out trick-or-treating with their siblings while they stay back and pass out candy. Sounds like a good deal for the parents, right? The only problem is that older siblings can also be less attentive to crowds, traffic, and hazards that will affect little ones. Teens are more likely to get
distracted by Snapchat, only to turn around and realize their younger sibling is lost. Communicate what can frighten or overexcite the younger sibling, and make rules for both siblings to follow to ensure safety. Also consider dressing your little ones in bright, reflective colors.

No drugs or alcohol
This should be obvious—your teen shouldn’t be taking substances at such a young age any day of the year. But it’s still worth noting because for many teenagers, Halloween parties may be the first time their friends offer them alcohol. Remind your teens about the dangers of drinking and driving and how it can lead to car accidents; this is a good time to reinforce what you have been teaching them all along.

Set a specific curfew
Bored teenagers wandering past midnight is a recipe for disaster. Set a curfew for your teens so that they can get home before the fun gets out of hand.

Whether it’s Halloween or a less scary day of the year, openly communicating these rules will help guide your teenager. It can be scary to be the voice of disagreement when a friend comes up with a “fun” idea that’s actually unsafe or stupid, but clear communication can give your teenager the confidence they need to protect themselves as they do just that.

If your family experiences a teenage car accident on Halloween or any other day of the year, consult with Bachus & Schanker, Colorado’s injury law firm. Whether your teen is behind the wheel or your family is affected by a teenage driver, give us a call and we can answer any questions you have.

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