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Halloween: A Night for Treats, Not Tragedies

10/23/2012

Did you know that on average, twice as many kids are killed while walking on Halloween as compared to any other day of the year? Kids will be out while it is dark – making it harder for drivers to see them and because they’re excited about getting candy, they may not be watching out for cars. As the local coalition leader for the National Safe Kids Campaign, Blythedale Children’s Hospital is committed to keeping youngsters safe.

"Children are so excited to be out trick-or-treating with their friends that they may not show proper judgment when it comes to crossing streets," said Blythedale Children’s Hospital Director of Community Relations Lena Cavanna. "We urge all parents to take the time to prepare their children before heading out on what should be a fun-filled night."

Parents and drivers both need to do their part to help kids stay out of the emergency room on Halloween. Emphasize safe pedestrian behaviors to kids before they go out trick-or-treating. Parents should also remember that costumes can be both creative and safe, so look for ways to use reflective materials.

Top tips to keep your kids safe on Halloween

For parents and children:

  • Children under 12 should trick-or-treat and cross streets with an adult.
  • Always walk on sidewalks or paths. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible.
  • Cross the street at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks. Parents should remind children to watch for cars that are turning or backing up.
  • Look left, right and left again when crossing and keep looking as you cross. Walk, don't run, across the street.

For drivers:

  • Slow down and be especially alert in residential neighborhoods. Children are excited on Halloween and may move in unpredictable ways.
  • Anticipate heavy pedestrian traffic and turn your headlights on earlier in the day 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.
  • Reduce any distractions inside your car so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings

Costumes and Treats:

  • Decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers and choose light colored costumes to improve visibility.
  • Choose face paint and make-up instead of masks, which can obstruct a child's vision. Look for non-toxic designations when choosing Halloween makeup.
  • Avoid carrying sticks, swords, or other sharp objects.
  • Have kids carry glow sticks or flashlights in order to see better, as well as to be seen by drivers.
  • Liquid in glow sticks is hazardous, so parents should remind children not to chew on or break them.
  • Check treats for signs of tampering before children are allowed to eat them. Candy should be thrown away if the wrapper is faded or torn, or if the candy is unwrapped.

For a pdf of these tips, please click here.

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Last year, 13-year-old Mathew was well-known as a baseball prodigy in the Little League