HOUSTON - On Halloween, sometimes the treats and the tricks can lead to tragedy. No one knows this more than Dr. Samuel Prater.
“Occasionally we’ll see burns, because the clothing gets near a candle or a jack-o-lantern,” says Dr. Prater, who works in the Emergency department at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital & UT Health.
He has seen the true horrors kids face, as they navigate streets in our area, many of which don’t have sidewalks or streetlights.
“I’ve seen broken arms and legs, skull fractures, spinal fractures, and major damage to the brain,” says Dr. Prater. “Unfortunately, some kids do die after getting hit by a car.”
According to Safe Kids Worldwide, children are twice as likely to be hit and killed by a vehicle on Halloween than on any other day of the year. And sadly, it’s a statistic that rings true here in Harris County.
KHOU looked at statistics done by the Texas Department of Transportation and found in 2013, 2014, and 2015, at least five juveniles were hurt on Halloween in Harris county in vehicular accidents.
In 2013, one of those injuries resulted in a fatality. In 2015, 14 people – including kids and adults - were injured in eight separate crashes on Halloween. That made the holiday the third most dangerous day of the year for pedestrians in Harris County, after January 1 and October 19.
Dr. Prater says putting reflective tape on costumes, using a flashlight while trick-or-treating, and making sure to have enough adult supervision are the best ways to keep your kids safe.