WINSTON-SALEM, N.C -- Halloween is supposed to be a spooky night, but parents don’t have to be scared about their kids’ safety if they follow some simple safety tips from Safe Kids Forsyth County.
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.
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. To keep kids safe, parents should remind them about walking safely and ensure that they will be seen by drivers this Halloween.
“Parents need to remind kids about safety while walking before they go out trick-or-treating,” said Donna Joyner, coordinator of Safe Kids Forsyth County. “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.”
As part of the Walk This Way program, Safe Kids and sponsor FedEx will be distributing more than 300,000 reflective stickers and trick-or-treat bags to children across the country, as well as important safety information to parents and drivers.
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 should 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.
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 should check treats for signs of tampering before children are allowed to eat them. Finally, the Safe Kids coalition suggests that parents look for non-flammable costumes and non-toxic designations when choosing Halloween makeup.
For more tips on how to keep kids safe while walking on Halloween and throughout the year, visit www.usa.safekids.org/wtw/
# # #
Media contact: Donna Joyner, email@example.com, 336-716-0649, or Bonnie Davis, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Safe Kids Worldwide is a global network of organizations whose mission is to prevent accidental childhood injury, a leading killer of children 14 and under. More than 450 coalitions in 16 countries bring together health and safety experts, educators, corporations, foundations, governments and volunteers to educate and protect families. The Safe Kids Walk This Way program was created by Safe Kids Worldwide and FedEx in the United States in 1999 to bring awareness to children pedestrian safety issues.
Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center is an academic health system comprised of North Carolina Baptist Hospital and Wake Forest University Health Sciences, which operates the university’s School of Medicine. The system comprises 1,154 acute care, psychiatric, rehabilitation and long-term care beds and is consistently ranked as one of “America’s Best Hospitals” by U.S. News & World Report.