Trick-or-treating is the single most anticipated event around the Halloween holiday. After all, what kid (or adult) doesn’t enjoy the idea of dressing up in a fun costume and getting candy? However, in busy areas such as those in and around Tampa Bay, trick-or-treating can pose some serious risks to your children, and awareness is the first step in protecting them, and you, this Halloween. Whether hitting one of the more sought-after and “safer” neighborhoods like Palma Ceia (Hillsborough County) or Sorrento Shores (Sarasota County) or going to a local shopping mall or business event that offers organized trick-or-treating events, keeping these tips in mind will be more likely to result in Halloween memories full of fun and sweets rather than unexpected accidents or injury.
- Be mindful of visibility. Making your children highly visible, especially when trick-or-treating at dusk, or after dark, is an important part of keeping them safe. Traditionally children and adults were encouraged to carry flashlights, and while that’s still effective, why not go with a more modern, hands-free version? Glow sticks are fun for kids, relatively inexpensive, and can be formed into necklaces and/or bracelets that add some flair to their costume while making sure drivers can easily spot them walking along the street. You should also be aware of visibility based on location. Coach your kids through staying on sidewalks and designated walkways, waiting to cross streets until with an adult, etc. Drivers can’t always stop on a dime, and if your child darts out between parked cars, or at an intersection, the results could be tragic for all involved.
- Remember that not all pets are friendly. While all pets could be aggressive in their own way, we are specifically referring to dogs in this context. Many dogs are protective of their home and territory, and small children are often affected most by dog bites as the injuries are usually to their faces and/or necks and can be highly traumatic or even fatal. Teach your children that they should never approach a dog without permission, and be aware of any dogs in or around yards as you are trick-or-treating so you can remove your child from the situation quickly if necessary. Dogs can be on high alert on Halloween because of the costumes, continual ringing of the doorbell, and strangers being in their space, so never take for granted that a dog “seems” friendly.
- Do your research before you head out on Halloween. Each region tends to have neighborhoods that have good (or not-so-good) reputations for trick-or-treating. Lighting, family-friendliness, nearby roadways, etc. can all go into determining the safety “rating” of a neighborhood but it’s important to note that even the safe neighborhoods can have some risks. For example, Palma Ceia in southwest Tampa (mentioned above) is noted as being a great place to trick or treat with your little ones, but the intersection of MacDill Ave. and Bay to Bay Blvd. is nearby and could be a major hazard if you aren’t aware. Knowing not just the name of a neighborhood, but doing your research about the surrounding area, could be the difference between a fun night and a ruined holiday.
This Halloween, we want to see Tampa Bay residents enjoy the fun of trick-or-treating while protecting the ones they love most. We know that the unexpected can change lives in the blink of an eye, and when that happens, know that you have a legal team on your side ready to help. Sessums Law Group doesn’t just stand beside you in court. WE STAND FOR YOU from the beginning of your case until the conclusion. If you or someone you love has been affected by the negligence of someone else, call and see how we can help you get the compensation you deserve.