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," said Jill Lucas Drakeford, coordinator for Safe Kids Southwest Virginia.
To keep kids safe and visible to drivers, Drakeford recommends the following:
- Masks can obstruct a child's vision. Instead, use non-toxic face paint and makeup.
- When choosing a costume, pick light colors, if possible.
- Have your child carry glow sticks and/or a flashlight.
- Purchase a trick-or-treat bad that is reflective or put reflective tape on your child's bag.
- Attach retro-reflective hang tags or tape to your child's costume.
- Have your child wear retro-reflective wristbands.
Drakeford says, "This will help ensure that kids' costumes are visible to drivers while still being fun." She also advises 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 said.
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,” added Drakeford.
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 phones down so you are not distracted
Happy Halloween and just remember: BE SAFE, BE SEEN!
Photo: Carilion Clinic