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Halloween Can Be a Dangerous Night for Children

Halloween Can Be a Dangerous Night for Children

Local Pediatricians Encourage Pedestrian Safety, Offer Other Safety Tips


MACON, GA (Monday, October 28, 2013) – Halloween should be a fun night for children, but too often the fun ends with a frightfully real tragedy. Halloween is one of the most dangerous days of the year for child pedestrians. According to Safe Kids Worldwide, children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on October 31 than any other day of the year.

“Parents need to remind kids about safety while walking before allowing them to go trick-or-treating. Children should also bring flashlights or glow sticks with them, carry reflective bags or have reflective tape on their costumes. Costumes should not include masks, which could inhibit a child's ability to see hazards. Ensuring kids can see and be seen is essential to keeping this holiday safe and fun for everyone,” said Dr. Tony Pearson-Shaver, Chief of Pediatrics at The Children's Hospital at The Medical Center of Central Georgia. 

Although Halloween can be a spooky night, parents should not fear for their child's safety if they follow a few safety tips.

Tips for Parents:

  • Do not allow children under age 10 to trick or treat without adult supervision. If children are mature enough to go without supervision, ask that they use a well-lit, predetermined route.
  • Cross streets at the corner, using traffic signals and crosswalks. Look left, right and left again when crossing, and continue to look as you cross. Never cross between parked cars. Walk, do not run.
  • Use well lit sidewalks or paths. Walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible.
  • Watch for cars that are turning or backing up.
  • Never dart into the street.
  • Only go to homes with a porch light on, and never allow the child to go into a house or a car for a treat.

Tips for Drivers:

  • Be especially alert. Note your city's designated trick-or-treating hours.
  • Slow down. Anticipate heavier than usual pedestrian traffic.
  • Drive with headlights fully on so that children can be easily seen at a distance.

In addition to encouraging pedestrian safety, parents should inspect treats for signs of tampering before children are allowed to eat them. Choose non-flammable costumes and check for non-toxic designation when selecting Halloween makeup. Dr. Pearson-Shaver also suggests that parents let children draw on pumpkins with markers or paint instead of carving. If a pumpkin is carved, only an adult should do the cutting, and a flashlight or glow stick should be used inside instead of a candle.