The Safe Kids coalition is offering some advice to keep kids safe while out trick or treating this Halloween.
"Parents need to talk to kids about safety before they go out trick-or-treating," says Beth Washington, Safe Kids Tulsa Area coordinator. "Many kids will be out trick-or-treating while it is dark when it is more difficult for drivers to see them. There are several easy and effective behaviors that parents can share with kids to help reduce their risk of injury. For example, children younger than age 12 should not be alone crossing streets on Halloween without an adult. If older kids are mature enough to go trick-or-treating without adult supervision, parents should make sure they go in a group and stick to a predetermined route with good lighting."
Drivers need to be extra alert as there will be more children on the streets and sidewalks - and those kids may be focused on gathering candy and caught up in the excitement of the holiday rather than being careful while crossing streets. "Safe Kids and FedEx urge drivers to slow down on neighborhood roads to make Halloween more enjoyable for everyone, but also to help save lives," added Washington.
Top safety tips Safe Kids and FedEx recommend for parents:
- 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 and walk, don't run, across the street.
- 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.
- Slow down and stay alert. Watch out for cars that are turning or backing up and never dart out in to the street or cross in between parked cars.
- Costumes can be both creative and safe:
- Decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers and, if possible, choose light colors.
- Masks can obstruct a child's vision, so choose nontoxic face paint and make-up instead.
- Have kids carry glow sticks or flashlights in order to see better as well as to be seen by drivers.
Top safety tips Safe Kids and FedEx recommend for drivers:
- Slow down in residential neighborhoods. Remember that popular trick-or-treating hours are 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
- Be especially alert and take extra time to look for kids at intersections, on 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, so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings.
For more tips on how to help kids become safer pedestrians on Halloween, as well as throughout the
year, visit www.safekids.org
and visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/safekidsusa