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Halloween Doesn’t Have to be a Dangerous Night for Children

On a potentially dangerous night of the year for child pedestrians, Safe Kids New Jersey urges parents to prepare children to act safely and drivers to take extra precautions.  On average, twice as many kids are killed while walking on Halloween compared to other days of the year.

Kids need proper safety instruction before they go out trick-or-treating.  Many kids will be out trick-or-treating while it is dark and thus more difficult for drivers to see them.  There are several simple and effective behaviors that parents can share with kids to help reduce their risk or injury.  For example, children younger than age 12 should not be alone crossing streets on this night without an adult.  If older kids are mature enough to go trick-or-treating without adult supervision, parents should make sure they go in a group and stick to a predetermined route with good lighting.

Drivers need to be extra alert as there will be more children on the streets and sidewalks – and may also be focused on gathering candy and the excitement of the holiday.  Drivers – be sure to slow down on neighborhood roads to make Halloween more enjoyable for everyone, but also to help save lives.

 

Top safety tips Safe Kids USA recommends for parents:

  • Cross the street safely at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks. Look left, right and left again when crossing and keep looking as you cross.  Walk, don’t run, across the street.
  • Walk on sidewalks or paths. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible. Children should walk on direct routes with the fewest street crossings.
  • Slow down and stay alert – watch out for cars that are turning or backing up and never dart out into the street or cross in between parked cars.
  • Costumes can be both creative and safe. Decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers and, if possible, choose light colors. Masks can obstruct a child’s vision, so choose non-toxic face paint and make-up whenever possible instead. Have kids carry glow sticks or flashlights in order to see better, as well as be seen by drivers.  While glow sticks are good for visibility, remember that the liquid in glow sticks is also hazardous, so parents should remind children not to chew on or break them.
  • Slow down in residential neighborhoods and school zones. Remember that popular trick-or-treating hours are 5:30 to 9:30 p.m.
  • Be especially alert and take extra time to look for kids at intersections, on medians and on curbs. Children are excited on Halloween and may move in unpredictable ways.
  • Slowly and carefully enter and exit driveways and alleys.
  • Reduce any distractions inside your car, such as talking on the phone or eating, so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings.
  • Check Candy – While kids never want to wait to dive into their candy, it is best to check sweets for signs of tampering before children are allowed to eat them

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



The Second Year Running for Safe Kids

Running a 26.2 mile marathon is no small feat. There is a considerable amount of motivational, emotional and physical strength that is needed to cover the distance. For Ali Zaidi, running for a great cause and being a part of Team Safe Kids New Jersey, gives him the motivation to step up to the plate and run the Marine Corps Marathon for the second year in a row.

“The key to success is establishing the right priorities,” says Ali. “I was able to continue my training while meeting all other personal obligations because I put the important people first. And those same important people turned around and helped me achieve my training goals. So here I am – ready to run the Marine Corp Marathon once again”

Safe Kids New Jersey is thrilled that Ali, a resident of Chester, NJ and father of three, will be running again for our kids at this year’s Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, DC on October 31, 2010.  His only concern this year is that the marathon happens to fall on Halloween. However, since this is his second year doing the marathon, even his family understands the importance of running for a cause like Safe Kids. “When I realized the marathon was on Halloween I approached my family and asked them if it was ok for me to run given that I probably won’t be able to make it back home to New Jersey in time for trick or treating, “ says Ali. “ It’s because of the very warm reception that Safe Kids provided my family with in Washington last year that my daughters said that if my running will help Safe Kids – then I should go ahead and complete the race.”

Completing 26.2 miles is a real badge of honor, but it’s nothing compared to helping prevent a lifetime of suffering for a child with a serious injury. You can support us in our goal of keeping kids safe from injuries every day by contributing to Team Safe Kids New Jersey. We know that what we do works and we need your help to continue our mission. Through our statewide network of local Safe Kids New Jersey coalitions, your contribution will help us educate and protect families throughout our state.

It is fast and simple to support this great cause by making your tax deductible donation online by clicking here.  Or, you can mail your contribution, made payable to Safe Kids Worldwide to:

Carol Ann Giardelli
Safe Kids New Jersey
One Johnson & Johnson Plaza, WH-1305
New Brunswick, New Jersey 08893

Please put “Team Safe Kids NJ State” on the memo line of the check

We will continue to keep you updated on our progress!