With Halloween weekend upon us, thousands of children dressed like little goblins, creepy creatures, and superheroes will be on the streets for treats and candy. It is when the children will be at increased risk of being hit by a car. The risk will in fact be higher than any other time of the year.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), reports Halloween is consistently one of the top three days for pedestrian injuries and fatalities.
In addition, a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), estimates that children are four times more likely to be hit by a motor vehicle on Halloween than any other day of the year.
It is advised not to go out in the car, unless very necessary. But in case one wants to go, it is very important to be cautious about the dangers and be alert.
Maintain a low speed limit, and do not accelerate more than 25 mph, in those areas where trick-or-treaters are present.
Always take care of children on the Halloween night when they walk on the streets between parked cars along the side of highway.
Avoid using mobile phone, navigation system, sound system, or other disturbing devices in those residential areas where the pedestrians might be present. It is also safe to take the children to an organized party.
Both adults and children should be safety conscious when celebrating Halloween this season. Prepare ahead with these useful Halloween Safety Tips:
· Watch for children darting out from between parked cars.
· Watch for children walking on roadways, medians and curbs.
· Enter and exit driveways and alleys carefully.
· At twilight and later in the evening, watch for children in dark clothing.
· Make sure that an adult or an older responsible youth will be supervising the outing for children under age 12.
· Plan and discuss the route trick-or-treaters intend to follow. Know the names of older children’s companions.
· Instruct your children to travel only in familiar areas and along an established route.
· Teach your children to stop only at houses or apartment buildings that are well-lit and never to enter a stranger’s home.
· Establish a return time.
· Tell your youngsters not to eat any treat until they return home.
· Review all appropriate trick-or-treat safety precautions, including pedestrian/traffic safety rules.
· Pin a slip of paper with the child’s name, address and phone number inside a pocket in case the youngster gets separated from the group.
· Costumes should be loose so warm clothes can be worn underneath.
· Costumes should not be so long that they are a tripping hazard. (Falls are the leading cause of unintentional injuries on Halloween.)
· If children are allowed out after dark, outfits should be made with light colored materials. Strips of retro-reflective tape should be used to make children visible.
· Masks can obstruct a child’s vision. Use facial make-up instead.
· When buying special Halloween makeup, check for packages containing ingredients that are labeled “Made with U.S. Approved Color Additives,” “Laboratory Tested,” Meets Federal Standards for Cosmetics,” or “Non-Toxic.” Follow manufacturer’s instruction for application.
· If masks are worn, they should have nose and mouth openings and large eye holes.
· Knives, swords and other accessories should be made from cardboard or flexible materials. Do not allow children to carry sharp objects.
· Bags or sacks carried by youngsters should be light-colored or trimmed with retro-reflective tape if children are allowed out after dark.
· Carrying flashlights will help children see better and be seen more clearly.
· Give children an early meal before going out.
· Insist that treats be brought home for inspection before anything is eaten.
· Wash fruit and slice into small pieces to have children snack along the way if they get hungry.
· When in doubt, throw it out.
Test your car safety IQ and see where you measure up. We were surprised what we didn’t know either.
From your friends at Jaguar of Orlando, have a safe and happy Halloween weekend! We want it to be filled with happy and fun lifelong memories!