Safe Kids Carroll County wants to remind you that safety on Halloween can be easily overlooked due to all the excitement and commotion.
According to Safe Kids Worldwide, on average, children are more than twice more likely to be hit and killed by a vehicle on Halloween than on any other day of the year. Studies show that developmentally, children cannot judge speed and distance of approaching vehicles until age 10. And teens have accounted for half of all child pedestrian injuries in the past five years.
Tips for kids
Halloween is meant to be spooky and scary, but let’s leave that to the costumes and decorations! Keep kids of all ages safe this Halloween by talking to them about these tips from Safe Kids:
· Cross streets at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks.
· Look left, right, and left again when crossing, and keep looking as you cross the street.
· Put electronic devices down and keep your head up as you walk across the street.
· Make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them.
· Always walk on sidewalks or paths. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible. Walk on direct routes with the fewest street crossings.
· Be on the lookout for cars that are turning or backing up. Never dart out into the street or cross between parked cars.
· Decorate costumes/candy buckets with reflective tape or stickers and carry a flashlight/glow stick.
· Stick to familiar areas that are well lit.
· If children are mature enough to be out without supervision, trick-or-treat in groups.
Tips for drivers
Children under Top safety tips that Safe Kids Carroll County recommends for drivers:
· Slow down in residential neighborhoods and school zones. Remember that popular trick-or-treating hours are 5:30 p.m. 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.
· Slowly and carefully enter and exit driveways and alleys.
· Reduce any distractions inside your car, such as talking on the phone or eating, so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings.
Remember, the majority of fatal pedestrian-involved crashes occur in the dark, and 1 in 4 child pedestrian deaths occur between 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., prime trick-or-treating hours.
Halloween is an exciting time that gets people out and about and more involved in their communities. Help keep it fun and safe this year! Please visit www.safekids.org to learn more about keeping your kids safe on Halloween, and every day in between.
Maggie Rauser is the Safe Kids coordinator with the Carroll County Health Department.