Top 10 Tips for Safe Trick-Or-Treating this Halloween

Halloween Safety

BINGHAMTON, NYHalloween is a particularly dangerous time of year for our young pedestrian trick-or-treaters.According to the National Safety Council, Halloween injuries to children most often result from falls, car-pedestrian collisions, or accidental contact with flames or other dangerous objects. Falls can be prevented by ensuring that your child has an appropriate costume that they can easily walk and see in and by being a safe pedestrian. On Halloween night, it is harder for drivers to see young children on the road, especially if they are in dark colored costumes. Children already have enough limitations when it comes to dealing with traffic. Children perceive traffic very differently from adults. Their field of vision is one-third narrower than that of an adult’s and they cannot easily judge a car’s speed or distance. Most children assume that if they can see the car, then the car can see them. Many are impatient and impulsive. Mix these characteristics with the excitement of Halloween and you have a recipe for disaster. Safe Kids USA has put together the top five safety tips for both children and for drivers who are out on Halloween.

Top five safety tips for children:
  • Cross the street safely at corners using traffic signals and crosswalks. Look left, right and left again when crossing and keep looking as you cross. Walk, don’t run across the street.
  • Walk on the sidewalks or paths. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible.
  • Slow down and stay alert. Watch out for cars that are turning or backing up. Never dart out into the street or cross in between parked cars. Do not assume that cars see you. Just because one car stops does not mean others will.
  • Young children should trick or treat with an adult. Children younger than age 12 should not cross streets at night without an adult. For children mature enough to travel alone be sure they go in a group and stick to a predetermined route.
  • Costumes can be both creative and safe. Decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers. Masks can obstruct a child’s vision so choose non-toxic face paint and make-up whenever possible. Have kids carry glow sticks or flashlights in order to see better and be seen by drivers.
Top five safety tips for drivers:
  • Slow down in residential neighborhoods and school zones. The popular trick-or-treating hours are between 5:30 - 9:30 p.m.
  • Be especially alert and take extra time to look for kids at intersections, on medians and on curbs. Children are more excited on Halloween and may move in unpredictable ways.
  • Enter and exit driveways and alleys slowly and carefully.
  • Reduce any distractions inside your car, such as talking on the phone, or eating so you can concentrate on the road.
  • Drive with your full headlights on so you can spot children from greater distances. Remember that costumes can limit children’s visibility and they may not be able to see your vehicle.
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10/26/2010 - 10:00am