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How to Protect Kids on the Most Dangerous Night of the Year

halloweenCard2TumbWith Halloween being one of the most dangerous days of the year for child pedestrians –children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween than the rest of the year – it’s essential for parents to prepare their children properly to stay safe while trick or treating. 

With the days getting shorter, children are likely to be trick or treating in the dark when it is harder for drivers to see them and the excitement of the holiday can make everyone less cautious. To keep kids safe, parents should remind them about walking safely and ensure that they will be seen by drivers this Halloween.  

Parents need to remind kids about safety while walking before they go out trick-or-treating. Children should also bring flashlights or glow sticks with them, carry reflective bags or have reflective tape on their costumes and not wear masks which may inhibit their ability to see hazards. Ensuring kids are seen this Halloween is essential to keep this holiday fun for everyone. 

Halloween is supposed to be a spooky night, but parents don’t have to be scared about their kids’ safety if they follow some simple safety tips from Safe Kids New Jersey. 

Tips for Parents: 

Safe Kids recommends that children under age 10 do not trick-or-treat without adult supervision. If kids are mature enough to go trick-or-treating without supervision, make sure they stick to a predetermined route with good lighting. Parents must also remind kids to: 

  • Cross streets safely. Cross at a corner, using traffic signals and crosswalks. Try to make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them. Look left, right and left again when crossing, and keep looking as you cross. Walk, don’t run, across the street.
  • Walk on well-lit sidewalks or paths. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible.  Children should walk in familiar areas with minimal street crossings.
  • Be a safe pedestrian around cars. Watch for cars that are turning or backing up. Never dart out into the street or cross between parked cars.

Tips for Drivers: 

Drivers need to do their part to keep trick-or-treaters safe from harm. Safe Kids also reminds motorists to be extra careful this Halloween and recommends that drivers:

  • Be especially alert. Remember that popular trick-or-treating hours are during the typical rush-hour period, between 5:30-9:30 p.m.
  • Drive more slowly. Slow down and anticipate heavier than usual pedestrian traffic.
  • Lights on. Be sure to drive with your full headlights on so you can spot children from greater distances.

Although pedestrian safety is a main concern on Halloween, parents also need to keep in mind that there are other hazards for their children on this holiday. Parents must check treats for signs of tampering before children are allowed to eat them. Finally, Safe Kids New Jersey suggests that parents look for non-flammable costumes and non-toxic designations when choosing Halloween makeup.

For more tips on how to keep kids safe while walking on Halloween and throughout the year, visit http://www.usa.safekids.org/