Halloween Night! An estimated 40 million children will participate in Halloween celebrations tonight. Second to Christmas, Halloween ranks second, with Americans spending $6.9 billion on Halloween decorations and costumes. With the increased popularity of Halloween and with Halloween falling on a Friday this year, even more children and adults will be out participating in Halloween activities tonight. Unfortunately with this popularity also increases the risk of injury. The most significant risk to children are motor vehicles, and especially those pedestrians after dark. Drivers must be on high alert.

PREVENTION WORKS! Attention drivers, parents & caregivers! By working together and following these guidelines, we can help to keep Halloween from being the most deadly night of the year for children.
Trick-or-Treat Safety Tips

Follow the before, during and after guidelines.

Drivers Be Aware!

  • Slow down
  • Be alert-watch for kids
  • Drive safe-not distracted
  • If you drink: Designate a sober driver or have a sober friend or taxi drive you home

Deadly risk: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention the number of pedestrian related fatalities among children increases significantly on Halloween. On Halloween night, children ages 5-14 are 4.5 times more likely to be killed by a motor vehicle than any other night of the year. These crashes occur primarily between 6-7pm. Both darkness and speed contribute to the elevated risk of pedestrian deaths with an increase of seven times greater on high-speed roads, five times on urban side streets and three times for slower local roads.
Injury risk: Halloween also includes the highest number of childhood Emergency Department (ED) visits compared to Christmas and July 4th. Ages include 14 and younger with two-thirds being boys and 96.9% are treat and release from the hospital. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics the most common Halloween related-injury that bring children to the hospital include: 1) motor vehicle/pedestrian crashes, 2) falls-resulting in eye injuries from sharp objects, hand fractures and tripping from costumes, and 3) burns from flammable costumes.

The week of October 19-25, 2014 is National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week. Its time to take note of where the risks are to protect your family. 

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that one million children are affected by lead poisoning and one-half a million children in the U.S. are believed to have lead poisoning. A child who has lead poisoning might not look or act like they are sick. However lead poisoning can lower your child's IQ, make it difficult for them to pay attention and do well in school. Because lead poisoning can: 
  • Damage the brain and nervous system
  • Slow down growth and development
  • Cause learning and behavior problems
  • Result in hearing and speech problems
Lead is in our environment and sources include:
  • Homes built before 1978
  • Older water pipes
  • Some toys
  • Some imported candy
  • Lead-based products from certain jobs and hobbies
Lead poisoning is 100% preventable. Don't leave your child at risk. Below are helpful preventive resources.
Select to learn about lead hazards in your home
Photos of candies that are known to contain lead

Wearing a vehicle seat belt "properly" during pregnancy will help to keep the mother and baby safe in the event of a motor vehicle collision. The leading cause of hospitalized injury and injury-related death among women who are pregnant in the U.S. is motor vehicle crashes.  Wearing a seat belt “properly” during pregnancy can significantly reduce both maternal and fetal morbidity and mortality a following motor vehicle collision. (1)

The American Medical Association and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend to women who are pregnant to always wear seat belts “properly” while riding in a motor vehicle.  Pregnant women who wear a seat belt “properly”, in the event of a crash, have lower rates of personal injury and fetal death, compared to women who were not buckled up properly during a crash. (2)

Select the image to the right to see how to "properly" wear a seat belt while pregnant as well as guidelines to follow if a motor vehicle collision occurs during pregnancy.
1. Am J Lifestyle Med, 2012, 6(3): 241-249.
2. Hyde LK, et al. (2003). Effect of motor vehicle crashes on adverse fetal outcomes. Obstetrics and Gynecology, 102(2): 279–286).
Watch this video and every time you start your vehicle, remember it. Watch it now and remember every time you start your vehicle, remember it. It can change your life!

Start your vehicle-remember this video!
Start your vehicle-remember this video!

Start your vehicle-remember this video!