Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Countdown to a Safe Halloween

Like many households with young children the countdown to Halloween in our home actually started when the stores began to deck everything in orange and black. Pumpkin decoration, costumes, candy and staying up late, what is there not to love about Halloween from a child's perspective? This year, our family is actually venturing out into the neighborhood to trick or treat, but from a parent and caregiver perspective Halloween presents some significant risks. The number of the child fatalities while walking are double on Halloween night any other night of the year. It makes horrible sense if you think about it, large numbers children are out after dark, wearing costumes that are often dark, costumes that may obscure their view and they may in their excitement not be using good road sense. What can we all, parents, kids and motorists do about this? Safe Kids has a host of fabulous suggestions and a strong reminder that whether or not you talk about pedestrian safety with your children usually, you should on Halloween. 

Some of my favorite suggestions, along with the basic pedestrian safety are those that make use of costumes to increase visibility:
  • Decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers and choose light colored costumes to improve visibility.
  • Choose face paint and make-up instead of masks, which can obstruct a child's vision. Look for non-toxic designations when choosing Halloween makeup.
  • Have kids carry glow sticks or flashlights in order to see better, as well as to be seen by drivers.
Check out the rest of the suggestions here and over the next week on TMC for Children's Facebook page and Twitter feed.

An additional suggestion for drivers, as you're turning in or pulling out of your driveway be especially aware of small children who might not be where you expect them. Perhaps before pulling out of your driveway make sure you have a clear view with no children on the driveway, or within a house or two of yours on either side.

Have a happy and safe Halloween.

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