In just a few short weeks, the streets will be filled with princesses and pirates, ghosts and goblins, and superheroes and sports stars. While Halloween can be a fun night for families, it can also be dangerous.
Although the fear of poisoned or tampered treats still persists among parents, research shows very few cases occur each year. The real danger is pedestrian injuries and other accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than twice as many children are killed in pedestrian/vehicle accidents on Halloween between 4pm and 10pm as compared to the same hours on other days throughout the year.
Weston District Fire Chief Bruce Angier offers the following tips to ensure a safe and happy Halloween:
Cross the street only at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks when available.
Look left, right and left again when crossing the street and keep looking as you cross.
Walk, don’t run, across the street.
Always use the sidewalk. If there is no sidewalk, then walk facing traffic and as far to the left as possible.
Teach children to always make eye contact with the driver before crossing in front of a car.
Teach children to never dart out into the street or cross between parked cars.
When walking or crossing the street, put electronic devices down and keep your head up.
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 children at intersections, in medians and on curbs.
Enter and exit driveways slowly and carefully.
Eliminate any distractions inside your car that may reduce your concentration on the roads and your surroundings.
Anticipate heavy pedestrian traffic and turn your headlights on earlier in the day. Popular trick-or-treating hours are 5:30-9:30pm, so be especially alert during those hours.
Children under the age of 12 should not be alone at night without adult supervision.
If children are mature enough to be without adult supervision, they should trick-or-treat in groups.
Only visit well-lit houses. Never enter a stranger’s house.
Never accept rides from strangers.
Never walk near lit candles or luminaries.
Decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers to increase visibility to drivers.
Choose face paint and makeup whenever possible instead of masks, which can obstruct a child’s field of vision.
Wear well-fitting masks, costumes, and shoes to avoid blocked vision, trips, and falls.
Carry glow sticks or flashlights to help drivers see trick-or-treaters.
“By using these safety tips, and some common sense, you will keep Halloween a fun, safe and happy holiday for you and your family,” states Chief Angier.
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