For young children, Halloween night is one of the best of the year. But trick-or-treating can be dangerous if kids and parents aren’t careful. On average, twice as many child pedestrians are killed while walking on Halloween compared to any other day of the year, and more than 70% of accidents occur away form an intersection or crosswalk.
To help ensure adults and children have a safe holiday, here are some Halloween safety tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics:
- A responsible adult should accompany young children on the neighborhood rounds
- If your older children are going alone, plan and review a route acceptable to you
- Agree on a specific time children should return home
- Teach your children never to enter a stranger’s home or car
- Instruct children to travel only in familiar, well-lit areas and stick with their friends
- Tell your children not to eat any treats until they return home
- All costume, wigs and accessories should be fire-resistant
- Avoid masks, which can obstruct vision while walking/crossing streets
- If children are allowed out after dark, fasten reflective tape to their costumes and bags, or give them glow sticks
- When buying Halloween makeup, make sure it is nontoxic and always test it in a small area first
- Remove all makeup before children go to bed to prevent skin and eye irritation
Children and adults are reminded to put electronic devices down, keep heads up and walk, don’t run, across the street.
Safety Tips for Motorists
- Watch for children walking on roadways, medians and curbs
- Enter and exit driveways and alleys carefully
- At twilight and later in the evening, watch for children in dark clothing
- Discourage new, inexperienced drivers from driving on Halloween
- Avoid using handheld electronic devices
- Slow down in areas where pedestrians are likely to be or where sight distances are limited. Keep your windshield clean.
Safety Tips for Pedestrians
- Walk on a sidewalk if one is available. If there is no sidewalk, walk facing traffic, as far to the side as possible so you can move quickly out of the road.
- Drivers do not expect pedestrians to come out from between parked cars or behind shrubbery, expect that drivers will not see you and wait for them to pass.
- Follow the rules of the road at driveways and intersections. Cross with a traffic signal if there is one and even if you have the right of way, make sure traffic has stopped or passed before you step into the street.
- Make yourself as visible to motorists as possible, especially at night and in low light by carrying a flashlight, wearing a small flashing strobe light, and wearing reflective clothing. Bright colored clothing is not enough.