Halloween can be a fun and exciting night, but according to the Center for Disease Control, due to increased foot traffic and Trick-or-Treaters out at night, the potential for automobile related accidents with young pedestrians increase four times on this night.
It is extremely important to educate ourselves and our children on the potential dangers which can occur on such an exciting night. Below are tips to help our children stay safe and injury-free:
* Children under the age of 12 years-old should trick-or-treat with an adult. If your child is mature enough to be out on their own, they should stick to familiar areas that are well lit and trick-or-treat in groups. They should know how traffic signals work and when the proper time to cross at an intersection which is designated by signals.* *
* Drive extra safely on Halloween. Drive below the posted speed-limit, especially in residential areas. Children are excited and may not be paying attention to vehicles when crossing the street. Do not pass another vehicle that has stopped in the roadway. They could be dropping off children.
* Explain to your child the importance of looking both ways twice and listening to your surroundings before crossing the street. Remind them to continue to watch for cars even when they are crossing the street. Remind them not to cross mid-block.
* To prevent falling or tripping, costumes should be the right size. Face paint and make-up can be a better alternative than a mask. A mask has the ability to obstruct a child’s vision.
* Have your child carry glow sticks or a flashlight to help them see and be seen. If possible, decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers.
* Prior to going out, talk to your children about strangers. Instruct them to NEVER get into a stranger’s vehicle under any circumstance. If someone stops and asks your child for help or tries to lure your child into their vehicle, tell them to scream as loud as they can and run.
* DOUBLE CHECK your child’s candy. Make sure your child’s candy has not been tampered with. Throw out all unwrapped candy.
* Remember, it is more common for small children to choke because their swallowing mechanism has not fully developed and they have small airway passages, therefore children under five should not have hard candy. These foods are dangerous due to the fact they can easily become lodged in a child’s throat.
Working together as a community, we can educate ourselves and our children on how to have the safest Halloween.