Posted: Sunday, October 27th 2013 at 9:19am
Halloween safety tips from Safe Kids
GAINESVILLE – Halloween is just around the corner, and Safe Kids Gainesville-Hall County says it's essential for parents to prepare their children properly to stay safe while trick-or-treating.
Over a recent five-year period, on average, twice as many child pedestrians have been killed on Halloween as have been killed on average throughout the rest of the year.
With the days getting shorter, children are likely to be trick-or-treating in the dark when it is harder for drivers to see them and the excitement of the holiday can make everyone less cautious.
“Parents need to remind kids about safety while walking before they go out trick-or-treating,” says Kim Martin, coordinator of Safe Kids Gainesville-Hall County. “Children should bring flashlights or glow sticks with them, carry reflective bags, or have reflective tape on their costumes to increase visibility to drivers. Children should not wear masks which may inhibit their ability to see hazards. Ensuring kids are seen this Halloween is essential to keeping the 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 go in a group and they stick to a predetermined route with good lighting. Parents must also remind kids to:
• 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.
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 that 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.
Although pedestrian safety is a main concern on Halloween, parents also need to keep in mind that there are other hazards for their children on this holiday. Parents must check treats for choking hazards or signs of tampering before children are allowed to eat them.
Safe Kids Gainesville-Hall County suggests that parents look for non-flammable costumes and non-toxic designations when choosing Halloween makeup and make sure their children wear well-fitting, sturdy shoes to prevent trips and falls. Finally, children should only go to homes where the residents are known and there are outside lights on as a sign of welcome.
For more information about safety for children and families, as well as helpful tips, please call 770-219-8095 or visit www.safekidsgainesvillehall.org.
Link: Safe Kids Gainesville/Hall County
Associated Categories: Local/State News
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