Safety is Sweet When you Trick-or-Treat
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Everyone loves a good scare on Halloween, but not when it comes to child safety. On average, children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween than on any other day of the year. Safe Kids Georgia urges drivers, children, and parents to be especially cautious this October 31st. Keep your trick-or-treaters safe by sharing these tips with them.
Trick-or-Treat the SMART Way
Stay alert and eliminate distractions. Never look down and remember to be aware of nearby vehicles at all times. Put electronic devices away unless you get lost and need to call an adult.
Make sure homes are well lit inside and outside before approaching them and always stay within street view. Younger children should be walked to the door with an adult to receive candy.
Adults should always accompany children under 12. A child old enough to trick-or-treat without an adult should stay in familiar, well lit areas and stay with a group.
Remember to walk safely. Walk, never run, when crossing the street and always keep an eye out for cars that are turning or backing up. Always look left, right, and left again before crossing the street and never dart out in the road.
Treats and candy should be examined for choking hazards and tampering before being eaten. Pick only wrapped treats and avoid homemade foods made by strangers. Always be careful of food allergies.
Keeping Costumes Safe isn’t a TRICK
Try having your child wear non-toxic face paint or make up instead of a mask, as masks can restrict a child’s vision.
Reflective materials can be attached to costumes and bags to increase visibility. Also, your child can carry a flashlight or wear glow sticks to help them see and be seen.
Insist that your child’s costume accessories, such as swords or knives, are short, soft, and flexible. Inflexible ones can cause serious injury in case of a fall.
Costumes and shoes should fit a child well to avoid trips and falls. Children should be able to see and breathe properly when wearing facial masks.
Keep children away from lit candles or lanterns. Costumes with capes or long sleeves can easily brush against a jack-o-lantern or other open flame and catch fire. To reduce this risk, buy flame-resistant costumes if possible.
Be ALERT Behind the Wheel
Anticipate heavy pedestrian traffic on Halloween and drive slowly in residential areas. Make sure to yield for young pedestrians because kids are excited on this holiday and often move in unpredictable ways.
Limit the amount of time you spend driving on Halloween. Run necessary errands before normal trick-or treating hours—typically between 5:30 and 9:30 pm.
Enter and exit driveways slowly and carefully, taking extra time to watch out for nearby children. Also, do not pass other vehicles that have stopped on the road, as they could be dropping off children.
Remove any distractions inside your car so you can concentrate on driving and your surroundings. Put away electronic devices, turn down the music, and keep your eyes on the road.
Turn your headlights on earlier in the day to spot children from longer distances and allow children to more easily see your vehicle approaching.