The child welfare organization Safe Kids says that twice as many child pedestrians are killed while walking on Halloween compared to other days of the year. In addition, the National Safety Council states that darting out or running into the road accounts for about 70 percent of pedestrian deaths or injuries among children between the ages of five and nine and about 47 percent of incidents for kids between the ages of 10 and 14.
As thousands of children prepare to embark on their trick-or-treating jaunts in neighborhoods near and far, it is best to once again revisit safety tips that can help ensure this Halloween is enjoyable and injury-free.
• Visibility: Visibility is key when donning a Halloween costume. Children should be dressed in highly visible costumes so drivers can easily see them. Parents and chaperones also should be dressed in bright colors. Reflective tape and flashlights also make pedestrians more visible to oncoming cars.
• Routes: Children and adults should plan their trick-or-treating routes ahead of time. This way they kids can be found quickly if they are separated from their groups, and parents can choose safe neighborhoods. Choose neighborhoods and paths that have the least amount of automobile traffic.
• Walk, don’t run. Trick-or-treaters should stick to sidewalks and only cross the street at intersection crosswalks. Make sure kids know to avoid darting out between cars or cutting across lawns and driveways. When darkness sets in, fast-moving children can be difficult to see.
• Visit only lit houses. Residents who don’t want to answer the door will typically leave their homes’ exterior lights off. Only visit homes that are decorated, bright and welcoming to trick-or-treaters.
• Go in groups. Children should go out in groups and always be accompanied by an adult chaperone.
• Costume safety: Everyone should wear well-fitted costumes that do not drag on the floor or impede mobility. Choose face paint over masks so that vision is not obscured.
• Beware of fire hazards. Keep clear of jack-o-lanterns that are lit by real flames. Homeowners can opt for LED lights or other, safer methods of illumination rather than candles and open flames.
Halloween is an exciting day for youngsters, and following a few safety can make the day both fun and safe.
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