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Halloween Shouldn’t Be the Scariest Night of the Year for Kids, Parents and Drivers

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Safety tips to ensure this Halloween is safe and happy for all

Cleveland, OH – Halloween is the time of year for yummy treats and spooky scares. To make sure that everyone has a happy and safe Halloween, University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital, as lead agency for Safe Kids Greater Cleveland, urges parents to prepare kids to act safely and reminds drivers to be particularly alert. Halloween is the most dangerous night of the year for pedestrians. On average, twice as many kids are injured while walking on Halloween than other days of the year.

“Parents need to talk to kids about safety before they go out trick-or-treating,” says Mandy Thomas, Coordinator, Safe Kids Greater Cleveland. "Many kids will be out trick-or-treating at dusk when it is more difficult for drivers to see them.”

UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital and Safe Kids Greater Cleveland offer several easy and effective tips for a safe Halloween:

  • Model Safe Behaviors – remember to walk on sidewalks and to only cross at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks. Always look three ways before crossing – left, right and left again. Kids should walk, not run across the street – even on a fun night like Halloween.
  • Stay with kids – kids younger than 12 should not be trick-or-treating without adult supervision. If older kids are mature enough to go out alone, parents should make sure they go in a group and stick to a predetermined route with good lighting.
  • Slow down and stay alert - watch out for cars that are turning or backing up and never dart out into 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 non-toxic face paint and make-up whenever possible instead. Have kids carry glow sticks or flashlights in order to see better, as well as be seen by drivers.

Drivers also need to do their part to keep trick-or-treaters safe from harm. On Halloween, kids may be too focused on candy and caught up in the excitement of the holiday to remember to be careful. UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital and Safe Kids Greater Cleveland remind motorists to be extra cautious this Halloween and recommend that drivers:

  • Slow down– especially in residential neighborhoods. Remember that popular trick-or-treating hours are 5:30 to 9:30 p.m.
  • Be especially alert – take extra time to look for kids at intersections, on medians and on curbs. Kids 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.

While pedestrian safety is a main concern on Halloween, parents and kids should also be careful when dealing with candy. "While kids may want to dive into their candy right away, it is best to check sweets for signs of tampering before kids are allowed to eat them," says Thomas. “Remind kids to only eat treats in original and unopened wrappers."

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