|Halloween can be scary, but not because of the ghosts and goblins.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, children are four times more likely to be in fatal pedestrian accidents on Halloween than on any other night of the year. The figure is based on data collected from 1975 to 1996 by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Roberta Davis, injury prevention education coordinator at DMC Children’s Hospital of Michigan offers several Halloween safety tips to keep kids safe.
| For parents and children:
• Children under 18 should trick-or-treat and cross streets with an adult.
• Always walk on sidewalks or paths. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible.
• Cross the street at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks. Parents should remind children to watch for cars that are turning or backing up.
• Look left, right and left again when crossing and keep looking as you cross. Walk, don't run, across the street.
• Kids should avoid riding their bike or skateboard to avoid potential accidents.
• Slow down and be especially alert in residential neighborhoods. Children are excited on Halloween and may move in unpredictable ways.
• Anticipate heavy pedestrian traffic and turn your headlights on earlier in the day so you can spot children from greater distances.
• Remember that costumes can limit children's visibility and they may not be able to see your vehicle.
• Reduce any distractions inside your car so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings.
Costumes and Treats:
• Decorate costumes with reflective tape on the front, side and back.
• Choose non-toxic face paint and make-up instead of masks, which can obstruct a child's vision.
• Avoid carrying sticks, swords, or other sharp objects.
• Have kids carry glow sticks or flashlights in order to see better, as well as to be seen by drivers. Liquid in glow sticks is hazardous, so parents should remind children not to chew on or break them.
• Check treats for signs of tampering before children are allowed to eat them. Candy should be thrown away if the wrapper is faded or torn, or if the candy is unwrapped. Homemade treats like popcorn balls and caramel apple should be avoided.
• Consider donating candy and treats to the military.
The Kohl's Injury Prevention Program housed at DMC Children's Hospital of Michigan, offers a number of injury prevention programs to help keep kids safe. Visit www.ChildrensDMC.org/KIPP for further information.