Halloween is known as a scary holiday, but sometimes not for the right reason. Parents focus on protecting children from predators and carefully inspect candy for possible tampering. Many communities require convicted sex offenders to report to area probation offices for the evening as a precaution.
All this concern and preparation is valid, but the most important precaution should be ensuring that your children are visible in the dark and protected appropriately from traffic. On average, children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a vehicle and killed on Halloween than on any other day of the year.
Consider some other options besides door-to-door trick or treating for children. Many faith communities have Harvest Festivals on this evening, some zoos open for the special events. Schools, community centers or shopping malls also plan events to make Halloween both safe and special for kids.
Whatever you decide is the best choice for your family, keep the following tips in mind:
- Cross the street at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks.
- Look left, right and left again when crossing and keep looking as you cross.
- Put electronic devices down and keep heads up and walk, don’t run, across the street.
- Teach children to make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them.
- Always walk on sidewalks or paths. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to
the left as possible. Children should walk on direct routes with the fewest street crossings.
- Watch for cars that are turning or backing up. Teach children to never dart out into the street or cross between parked cars.
- 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.
- Decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers and, if possible, choose light colors.
- Choose face paint and makeup whenever possible instead of masks, which can obstruct a child’s vision.
- Have kids carry glow sticks or flashlights to help them see and be seen by drivers.
- When selecting a costume, make sure it is the right size to prevent trips and falls.
- Slow down and be especially alert in residential neighborhoods. Children are excited on Halloween and may move in unpredictable ways.
- Take extra time to look for kids at intersections, on medians and on curbs.
- Enter and exit driveways and alleys slowly and carefully.
- Eliminate any distractions inside your car so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings.
- 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
Trick or Treat With an Adult
Keep Costumes Both Creative and Safe
Drive Extra Safely on Halloween
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