Halloween should be a fun night for kids, but it can turn dangerous, especially once the sun goes down. According to Safe Kids Worldwide, twice as many kids are killed while walking on Halloween than any other day of the year.
"On Halloween, more children are on the street after dark than normal, and they are so excited that they may run out into the street without looking,” says Jill Lucas Drakeford with Carilion Children's, who coordinates Safe Kids Southwest Virginia.
To keep kids safe and visible to drivers, she recommends the following:
- Use non-toxic face paint and makeup instead of masks, which can obstruct a child's vision.
- When choosing a costume, pick light colors, if possible.
- Have your children carry glow sticks and/or flashlights.
- Purchase a reflective trick-or-treat bag or put reflective tape on your child's bag.
- Attach retroreflective hangtags or tape to your child's costume.
- Have your children wear retroreflective wristbands.
“This will help ensure that kids’ costumes are visible to drivers while still being fun," she said.
She also explained that it is important for parents to talk to their kids about watching out for cars.
"Kids should make eye contact with drivers before crossing the street and always try to use crosswalks, when possible," she says.
Being safe isn't just a responsibility for parents and kids to remember. Drivers need to take extra care and slow down while they navigate the roads in their neighborhoods.
"And, of course, it’s very important that drivers put down mobile devices to avoid distraction,” adds Jill.
Below are tips from Safe Kids Worldwide for both excited trick-or-treaters and drivers.
- Cross at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks
- Look left, right and left again
- Use sidewalks
- Watch for cars turning or backing up
- Watch out for kids crossing mid-block
- Slow down and be especially alert
- Look for kids who might be trying to cross mid-block
- Keep your phone out of sight so you are not distracted
Happy Halloween and just remember: Be safe and be seen!
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