The fabled ghosts and goblins of Halloween can be scary for kids. But for parents, fears – like being hit by a car while trick-or-treating – are all too real. According to Safe Kids, twice as many kids are killed while walking on Halloween than on any other day of the year.
Jennifer Rubin, Safe Kids Greater Sacramento Coalition coordinator and injury prevention specialist at UC Davis Health, offers some simple tips to keep the night safe and fun:
Start with safe costumes:
- Decorate costumes and trick-or-treating bags with reflective tape or stickers and, if possible, choose light-colored clothing.
- Masks can obstruct a child’s vision. Choose non-toxic face paint and makeup whenever possible.
- Have children carry glow sticks or flashlights so they can see better, as well as be seen by drivers.
Be safe while walking:
- Stay alert. Watch out for cars that are turning or backing up and don’t dart out into the street or cross in between parked cars.
- Walk on sidewalks or paths. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible.
- Put electronic devices down and keep heads up and walk, don’t run, across the street.
- It’s best to cross the street safely at corners. Always look left, right and left again when crossing and keep looking as you cross.
Be safe while driving:
- Slow down in residential neighborhoods. Remember that popular trick-or-treating hours are 5:30 to 9:30 p.m.
- Be especially alert and take extra time to look for kids at intersections, near medians and on curbs. Children are excited on Halloween and may move in unpredictable ways.
- Reduce any distractions inside your car, such as talking on the phone or eating. That way you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings.
“On Halloween, more children are on the street after dark than normal. They are so excited that they may run out into the street without thinking,” Rubin said. “We ask parents to talk to their kids about how to walk safely and ask drivers to take extra care and slow down when driving on Halloween night.”