Halloween may be your childrens’ favorite holiday. Who doesn’t enjoy dressing in costume and running with your friends from house to house in search of the best candy? While Halloween is full of kiddie fun, parents need to be extra cautious on Halloween to make sure their children do not become the victims of a pedestrian accident. Children are four times as likely to be killed while walking on Halloween than any other night of the year. The good news is there is plenty a parent can do to try to make Halloween as safe as possible.
While you may be interested in how many likes your child’s cute costume is receiving on social media, put down the phone and keep an eye on the kids. Keep young children within arms-reach. Young children do not have the judgment necessary to understand the danger the road poses between this candy house and the next candy house.
Be wary of costumes with mask that block your child’s peripheral vision. You can always help your child paint their face instead of going for a mask. Look for costumes that are light in color when at all possible and make sure the costume is not a tripping hazard. It is important that your child’s costume fits properly and will not cause your child to trip.
Kids love glow sticks and they make them more visible. You can find them in all shapes and sizes including sticks, necklaces, bracelets, glasses and rings.
You can also buy reflective tape and put a strip across your child’s shoulders and down their legs. Look for ways to incorporate the reflective tape into their costume.
Carry a Flashlight
If you carry a lit flashlight cars will be able to see your group more easily and a flashlight is essential if you accidentally get in an unlit area.
Rules and Expectations
Set rules and expectations before you leave the house and make sure your child knows the consequences of not following the rules. Discuss them more than once. How far ahead of you can they walk? Is running allowed? Must they always be with you?
Look for neighborhoods where there will be crowds of children. Many neighborhoods will close their streets to motor vehicles. Other neighborhoods have volunteers keeping an eye on the little ones. Avoid neighborhoods and streets that are not well lit or ones with very little foot traffic.
Cross the Street at Corners
Make a plan for how you are going to tackle the neighborhood—cross the street at crosswalks or corners. If you must cross somewhere other than a corner, make sure to look left, right and then left again before stepping out into the road. Always use the sidewalk or path. If there is no sidewalk, always walk against traffic.
Halloween does not have to mean dangers will ruin your fun if you are prepared. Create a plan, talk with your children about expectations, be visible, think out their costume and be vigilant in your supervision and everyone will have a fun and safe night.