If you aren't paying attention, Halloween fun can be spoiled by real-life scares. Between 2007 and 2014, Halloween was the holiday with the fifth-highest number of emergency room visits by children 18 and younger, according to data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System.
While there are many causes for Halloween injuries, the increase in both pedestrian traffic and alcohol consumption during the holiday makes roadways especially dangerous.
In an effort to avoid an uptick in traffic-related injuries this Halloween, Fairview Park Hospital is warning drivers and walkers to be cautious.
"Distractions pose a threat to our safety every day, but especially on holidays like Halloween," says Dr. Andrew Bozeman, Pediatric Surgeon at Fairview Park Hospital. "Something as simple as walking and texting could result in serious injury - we've seen it before. That's why it's important for both motorists and pedestrians (including trick-or-treaters) to pay attention on Halloween."
Tips for pedestrians
Whether or not you're walking around in costume on Halloween, you should be paying attention to your surroundings and avoiding cell phone use:
- Leave the headphones at home, or at least lower the volume so you can still hear nearby cars and pedestrians.
- Don't talk on the phone or text while you're in the flow of pedestrian traffic
- Keep your eyes peeled for moving vehicles in parking lots and near streets, especially when it's dark.
- Cross the street carefully, and only at a crosswalk.
- Pay careful attention as you step off a curb, walk through an intersection or approach stairs.
- Don't assume all neighborhood cats and dogs are friendly - they could feel threatened by the increased foot traffic.
Tips for drivers
- Drivers should pay extra attention on Halloween to look out for young and inattentive trick-or-treaters.
- Drive slowly and be extra cautions in neighborhoods where there are trick-or-treating children.
- Stay off your cell phone.
- Watch for kids at intersections, on medians and on curbs.
- Go slow when using driveways and alleyways.
- Turn your headlights on earlier than usual to help you spot walkers more easily.
- Never drink and drive.
About Dr. Andrew Bozeman: Dr. Andrew Bozeman, a Dublin native, is a pediatric surgeon at Fairview Specialists - Pediatric Surgery. He holds an academic affiliation with Mercer University School of Medicine, where he is Clinic Assistant Professor of Pediatric Surgery. He completed his fellowship training at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences with Arkansas Children's Hospital. Dr. Bozeman is Board Certified in Pediatric Surgery and General Surgery.
Dr. Bozeman has published numerous peer-reviewed journal articles and abstracts, including presentations at both local and national scientific and medical forums. He is an active member of many prestigious medical and surgical societies, including the American College of Surgeons, the American Pediatric Surgical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the AOA Honor Medical Society. When he is not working, Dr. Bozeman loves spending time with his family and enjoys wing sports and fly fishing.
Fairview Specialists - Pediatric Surgery is located in Dublin and services families in the Central Middle Georgia region. Our pediatric team has received expert training to care for patients in pediatric general, thoracic and neonatal surgery.