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Halloween can be scarier than tricks and pranks: On average, twice as many kids are killed while walking on Halloween than on any other day of the year. With a few tips, kids can stay safe while out. Safe Kids St. Louis urges parents to prepare their children to walk safely, and remind drivers to be particularly alert.
“On Halloween, more children are on the street after dark than normal, and they are so excited that they may run out into the street without thinking,” said Cathy Hogan of Safe Kids St. Louis at SSM Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center. “Drivers need to take extra care and slow down on neighborhood roads. And, of course, it’s very important that drivers put down mobile devices to avoid distraction.”
“Parents need to talk to their children about watching out for cars while trick-or-treating,” says Hogan. “And make sure that their costume has something reflective on it so cars can see them. You could even have kids put on a glow stick necklace or a reflective slap bracelet.”
Top safety tips for kids:
- Costumes can be both creative and safe. The most important thing is to make sure you can be seen by drivers. Decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers and, if possible, choose light colors. Masks can obstruct your vision, so choose non-toxic face paint and make-up whenever possible. Carry glow sticks or flashlights so you can see better, as well as be seen by drivers.
- Cross the street at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks. Look left, right and then left again and keep looking as you cross.
- Put electronic devices down and keep heads up. Walk, don’t run, across the street.
- Walk on sidewalks or paths. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible.
- Slow down and stay alert - Watch out for cars that are turning or backing up and don’t dart out into the street or cross in between parked cars.
Top safety tips for drivers:
- Slow down in residential neighborhoods. Remember that popular trick-or-treating hours are 5:30 to 9:30 p.m.
- Be especially alert and take extra time to look for kids at intersections, on medians and on curbs. Children 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.
For more tips on how to help kids become safer pedestrians on Halloween, and throughout the year, visit safekids.org and visit our Facebook page at facebook.com/SafeKidsSTL