Aleigha Duvall was a precious 5-year old girl who stole the hearts of all who had the privilege to know her. “She would always give you a hug every day. She would tell you she loved you,” said Aleigha’s kindergarten teacher, Jackie Frey.
On October 31st, 2011, she was hit by a car while trick-or-treating.
On November 1st, 2011, Aleigha passed away at UK Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky.
Statistics demonstrate that on Halloween, kids between the ages of 5 and 14 are four times more likely to be killed by a car than any other day of the year.
Here are the top five parenting decisions you should make to avoid the dangers of Halloween that could forever change the lives of you and your loved ones.
1. Be aware of flammable Halloween costumes.
Children’s Halloween costumes can be frighteningly flammable. The issue ignited in the media when Strictly Come Dancing host Claudia Winkleman’s daughter caught fire after her witch costume lightly brushed a candle. Eight-year-old Matilda suffered severe burns.
Claudia campaigned to change safety laws, however, studies show that most costumes are still a fire hazard, as they are classified as a “toy” rather than a true article of clothing. Be aware of this when your child is around bonfires, Halloween decorations involving an open flame, candles, and even your own fireplace.
2. Do not underestimate the danger of chokeable candy.
Choking is the fourth leading cause of unintentional death in children under the age of 5. Guess which holiday amplifies this statistic? Bingo. Halloween. Always supervise what your child is putting into his or her mouth.
When you’re out and about, take it upon yourself to look out for unsupervised children who are showing signs of choking. When you put out a bowl of candy, avoid including hard candy that cannot be chewed.
If your spouse is the Vice President of Jolly Ranchers and passing out hard candy is your jam, then please compromise by not giving it to children under the age of 5. Finally, NEVER let kids run, play sports, or ride in the car with gum, candy, or lollipops in their mouths.
In the event that you do witness a child choking, it is recommended to perform the Heimlich Maneuver.
Here is a great demonstration video instructing how to perform the Heimlich Maneuver:
3. Be a defensive pedestrian
Determined to make some good come out of Aleigha’s death, her mother strongly campaigned for the widespread use of reflective tape on Halloween costumes and trick-or-treat bags. It can be purchased at Walmart and most automotive part stores. If you don’t have time to go grab a roll, order it today on Amazon to ensure it comes in time for Halloween.
Since you most likely won’t use the whole roll, spread the word to your neighbors who might be interested in using it as well. You never know whose life it could save.
Furthermore, never assume that an approaching car can see you, even if you’re on a sidewalk. Teach your children to be defensive pedestrians in the case of a drunk driver or an out-of-control vehicle. This one easy parenting decision could save your child’s life. Don’t risk it.
4. If you must drive on Halloween, be extremely cautious of drunk drivers.
Here are some frightening statistics regarding car accidents on Halloween:
● 44% of national fatal crashes during Halloween weekend involved a driver or motorcyclist with a BAC of 0.08 or higher.
● 38% of fatal crashes that occurred on Halloween night involved a driver or motorcyclist with a BAC of 0.08 or higher.
● 23% of pedestrian fatalities on Halloween night included a drunk driver.
If you or a family member are injured by a car accident or any other preventable hazard during the Halloween season, then you may have legal recourse against any at-fault parties. Call The Angell Law Firm and mention this article to receive a free consultation: (770) 217-4954. You don’t pay unless our law firm wins.
5. Share this post and save a life.
Knowledge is the best defense. Share this information to your social media channels and email list so your friends will be reminded to preserve the magic of Halloween without risking more than a stomach ache.