HERSHEY – Kids love Halloween. They get to dress up and get free candy. Reminders about pedestrian safety and choosing a costume for a safe Halloween can prevent injuries that can interfere with the fun. Roughly four times as many children ages 5-14 are killed while walking on Halloween evening compared with other evenings of the year. Falls also are a leading cause of injuries among children on Halloween.
Many Halloween-related injuries can be prevented if parents closely supervise school-aged children during trick-or-treat activities. The following safety tips can help:
— Teach children to WALK, not run, while trick-or-treating.
— Tell kids to cross streets only at intersections and crosswalks.
— Remind children to stop at all street corners before crossing.
— Teach youngsters to look left, right and left again before crossing the street and to continue looking both ways as they cross.
— Teach them never to dart out into a street or cross between parked cars.
— Teach “safe walking” as your child grows.
— Be a good role model.
— Slow down in residential neighborhoods and school zones.
— Obey all traffic signs and signals.
— Watch for children walking in the street or on medians and curbs.
— Enter and exit driveways and alleyways slowly and carefully.
— Teach children to exit and enter the car on the curbside, away from traffic.
Safe Halloween Fun
— Adults should accompany children under age 12 on their trick-or-treat rounds.
— Attach the name, address and phone number (including area code) of children under age 12 to their clothes in case they get separated from adults.
— Accept treats at the door and never go into stranger’s homes.
— Tell children to bring their treats home before eating them .
— Parents should check treats to ensure that items have not been tampered with and are safely sealed.
— Be careful with fruit. Inspect the surface closely for punctures or holes and cut it open before allowing a child to eat it.
— Restrict trick-or-treating visits to homes with porch or outside lights illuminated.
— Costumes should be flame retardant and bright enough to make children more visible.
— Make costumes short enough to avoid tripping.
— Decorate costumes and treat bags with retro-reflective tape and stickers.
— Dress children in shoes that fit. Wearing adult shoes can lead to falls.
— Allow children to carry only flexible knives, swords or other props.
— Avoid costumes made of flimsy material and outfits with big, baggy sleeves or billowing skirts. These are more likely to come in contact with an exposed flame, such as a candle, than tighter fitting costumes.
— If a mask is worn, be certain it fits securely and cut the eyeholes large enough for full vision.
For more information on Halloween safety, visit the Safe Kids’ Web site or to learn more about keeping your family safe at home, play, and on the way, contact Dauphin County Safe Kids Coalition, led by Penn State Children’s Hospital, at (717) 531-SAFE (7233).