With Halloween being one of the most dangerous days of the year for child pedestrians – children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween than the rest of the year – it's essential for parents to prepare their children properly to stay safe while trick or treating.
"Parents need to remind kids about safety while walking before they go out trick-or-treating," says Bobbi Paper, coordinator of Safe Kids Fargo/Moorhead. "Children should also bring flashlights or glow sticks with them, carry reflective bags or have reflective tape on their costumes and not wear masks which may inhibit their ability to see hazards. Ensuring kids are seen this Halloween is essential to keep this holiday fun for everyone."
Tips for Parents:
Safe Kids recommends that children under age 10 do not trick-or-treat without adult supervision. If kids are mature enough to go trick-or-treating without supervision, make sure they stick to a predetermined route with good lighting. Parents must also remind kids to:
- Cross streets safely. Cross at a corner, using traffic signals and crosswalks. Try to make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them. Look left, right and left again when crossing, and keep looking as you cross. Walk, don't run, across the street.
- Walk on well-lit sidewalks or paths. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible. Children should walk in familiar areas with minimal street crossings.
- Be a safe pedestrian around cars. Watch for cars that are turning or backing up. Never dart out into the street or cross between parked cars.
- Check your treats. Parents should check treats for signs of tampering before children are allowed to eat them.
Tips for Drivers:
Drivers need to do their part to keep trick-or-treaters safe from harm. Safe Kids also reminds motorists to be extra careful this Halloween and recommends drivers:
- Be especially alert. Remember that popular trick-or-treating hours are during the typical rush-hour period, between 5:30-9:30 p.m.
- Drive more slowly. Slow down and anticipate heavier than usual pedestrian traffic.
- Lights on. Be sure to drive with your full headlights on so you can spot children from greater distances.
For more tips on how to keep kids safe while walking on Halloween and throughout the year, visit usa.safekids.org/wtw/.
Safe Kids Fargo/Moorhead works to prevent accidental childhood injury, the leading killer of children 14 and under. Safe Kids Fargo/Moorhead is a member of Safe Kids Worldwide, a global network of organizations dedicated to preventing accidental injury. Safe Kids Fargo/Moorhead is led by MeritCare Children's Hospital and Kohl's Department Store.