Halloween is one of the most anticipated nights of the year for kids, but many parents fail to talk to their kids about how to stay safe while trick-or-treating.
Here are some tips parents should know, provided by Safe Kids Worldwide, a global organization dedicated to preventing injuries in children.
• 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.
Trick-or-treat with adults
• 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.
Keep costumes both creative, safe
• 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.