Be Seen on Halloween
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FACT: Kids are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween than on any other day of the year.
The phrase “Halloween danger” usually brings to mind images of dark nights and threats of spoiled candies—but many parents are unaware of the real danger trick-or-treating may pose to their children.
Due to the nature of the holiday, pedestrian traffic is heavy and unpredictable, and many adults are celebrating away from home and then driving elsewhere, leading to more intoxication behind the wheel. In the five years from 2007 to 2011, 23 percent of pedestrian fatalities on Halloween night involved a drunk driver, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Coupled with the fact that parties and trick-or-treating usually kicks off at night, the fright in this holiday could be very real.
To help keep your child safe, check out our tips on how to celebrate Halloween with a safe and happy child:
- Cross the street at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks, and look both ways multiple times.
- Take pictures at home before trick-or-treating, and then leave the phone in your pocket. Parents and children need to be as alert as drivers.
- Always walk on sidewalks or paths, or as far from the middle of the street as possible.
- Watch for cars that are turning into or backing up from driveways.
Trick or Treat With an Adult
- Children under the age of 12 should not be alone at night without adult supervision. If kids are mature enough to be out without supervision, they should stick to familiar areas that are well lit, and trick-or-treat in groups.
Keep Costumes Creative and Safe
- Decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers and, if possible, choose light colors.
- Avoid masks that obstruct a child’s vision, as well as costumes that could trip them up.
- Have kids carry glow sticks or flashlights to help them see and be seen by drivers. Glow sticks can be very low-cost, and may even be available in grocery or corner stores.
Drive Extra Safely on Halloween
- Slow down and be especially alert in residential neighborhoods. Children are excited on Halloween and may move in unpredictable ways.
- Drive slowly, anticipate heavy pedestrian traffic and turn your headlights on earlier in the day to spot children from greater distances.
- Popular trick-or-treating hours are 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. so be especially alert for kids during those hours.