While most of the scary things associated with Halloween are fantastical, there’s some real fright potential in the holiday.
Fortunately, most of those real dangers can be avoided with some good sense and good planning.
One of the biggest dangers in Halloween, which is today and especially this evening, is in just getting around.
Lots of excited children will be out and about walking in neighborhoods tonight and that can have terrible consequences for them and for drivers who don’t take care.
The National Safety Council, for example, offers this 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,” the council reported.
October 2017 ranked No. 2 in motor vehicle deaths by month, with 3,700. July was No. 1 with 3,830 deaths, according to the council.
The American College of Emergency Physicians urges parents to ensure children stay on the sidewalks, and off the streets and that they obey all traffic signals.
Parents should discuss with children the importance of staying together in a group and require that they have at least one adult with them to serve as chaperone. Parents should forbid children from accepting rides from strangers or visiting homes that are unfamiliar to them.
Remember also that it’s not just the kids who need to be safe.
In particular, adults attending Halloween parties need to remember to enjoy alcohol in moderation.
Drinking and driving could turn a fun holiday outing into a real nightmare.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 42 percent of those killed in motor vehicle crashes on Halloween night from 2013-2017 were in wrecks involving an impaired driver, making Halloween night one of the deadliest drunk-driving nights of the year.
You don’t want to be a statistic and make the road scarier than it already is from all of the spooky costumes and scary pranks by being an impaired driver.
Take precautions by making plans ahead of time by designating a sober driver before the festivities begin.
Halloween costumes also can be dangerous.
The American College of Emergency Physicians recommends avoiding costumes that could cause children to trip, such as baggy pants, long hems, high heels and over-sized shoes.
Everybody should avoid costume contact lenses, and parents should take care with costumes that include masks, according to the college.
If your child must wear one, ensure it’s well ventilated and does not impair vision.
Make sure costume fabric wigs and beards are made of flame-resistant materials such as nylon or polyester.
Make sure costumes are visible at night; avoid dark colors. Add reflective tape to the costume so your child is more visible to motor vehicles.
Check accessories such as swords, knives, wands and other pointed objects to ensure they’re made from flexible materials and have dulled edges.
Here’s to a safe and happy Halloween.
• Daily News Editorial Board