Children are twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween as on any other day
Halloween might be scary for different reasons than you think. On average, twice as many kids are killed while walking on Halloween than on any other day of the year. With a few tips and tricks, kids can stay safe while out walking. Safe Kids Eastside and FedEx® urge parents to prepare their children to walk safely, and remind drivers to be particularly alert this Halloween.
“On Halloween, more children are on the street after dark than normal, and they are so excited that they may run out into the street without thinking,” said Kristen Thorstenson Coordinator of Safe Kids Eastside. “Drivers need to take extra care and slow down on neighborhood roads. And, of course, it’s very important that drivers put down mobile devices to avoid distraction.”
Safe Kids and FedEx are teaming up to keep kids safe on Halloween. Across the country, 156 Safe Kids Coalitions, with support from FedEx volunteers, will provide reflective materials and safety information to children and parents. Children are encouraged to wear the reflective material on Halloween night to increase their visibility to drivers.
“Parents need to talk to their children about watching out for cars while trick-or-treating,” says Thorstenson. “And make sure that their costume has something reflective on it so cars can see them. You could even have kids put on a glow stick necklace or a reflective slap bracelet.”
Safe Kids and FedEx recommend these top tips to keep kids safe on Halloween.
Top safety tips for kids:
- Costumes can be both creative and safe. The most important thing is to make sure you can be seen by drivers. Decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers and, if possible, choose light colors. Masks can obstruct your vision, so choose non-toxic face paint and make-up whenever possible. Carry glow sticks or flashlights so you can see better, as well as be seen by drivers.
- Cross the street safely at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks. Look left, right and left again when crossing and keep looking as you cross.
- Put electronic devices down and keep heads up and walk, don’t run, across the street.
- Walk on sidewalks or paths. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible.
- Slow down and stay alert - Watch out for cars that are turning or backing up and don’t dart out into the street or cross in between parked cars.
Top safety tips for drivers:
- Slow down in residential neighborhoods. Remember that popular trick-or-treating hours are 5:30 to 9:30 p.m.
- Be especially alert and take extra time to look for kids at intersections, on medians and on curbs. Children are excited on Halloween and may move in unpredictable ways.
- Reduce any distractions inside your car, such as talking on the phone or eating, so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings.
For more tips on how to help kids become safer pedestrians on Halloween, and throughout the year, visit www.safekids.org.
Safe Kids Eastside works to prevent unintentional childhood injury, the No. 1 cause of death for children in the United States. Its members include the Brain Injury Association of Washington State, Olympic Physical Therapy, Sudden Unexpected Infant Death Investigations, King County Fire District 45, King County Emergency Medical Services, Kirkland Police Department, Car Safe Kids and Northshore School District. Safe Kids Eastside is a member of Safe Kids Worldwide, a global network of organizations dedicated to preventing unintentional injury. Safe Kids Eastside was founded in late 2012 and is led by EvergreenHealth. For more information, visit http://www.safekids.org.