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Important Tips to Keep Your Kids Safe This Halloween

Halloween should be a night of spooky fun for kids, where the fright is strictly for entertainment. But parents have cause to be on guard, whether for stranger danger or the inherent risks of their kids crossing the street at night. Many communities take a proactive approach with in-house costume parties and “trunk-or-treat” walks in a controlled environment. But if you’d like your kids to enjoy the good, old-fashioned trick-or-treating you enjoyed as a child, there’s no reason the experience can’t be safe and enjoyable.

Safe Kids Worldwide, a nonprofit organization helping families and communities prevent accidental injuries to kids, has released a list of Halloween safety tips to consider.

The first rule to set for your kids is to walk safely. This means:

  • Cross only the street at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks.
  • Look left, right and left again when crossing.
  • Walk, don’t run, across the street.
  • Make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them.
  • Always walk on sidewalks, but where there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible.
  • Be especially wary of cars that are turning or backing up.
  • Never dart out into the street or cross between parked cars.

Children under 12 should not go trick-or-treating without a responsible adult. Older kids should still stick to known areas and stay in a group. Parents who are escorting their children should also be mindful of a few rules:

  • Put electronic devices down and keep heads up (important for both parents and kids).
  • Take the children on direct routes with the fewest street crossings possible.

Costume safety is also very important. It’s great to be creative, but you also have to plan a costume in terms of safety by following these tips:

  • Use reflective tape or stickers to decorate costumes and bags.
  • If possible, choose bright colors.
  • Face paint and makeup are preferable to masks, which can obstruct a child’s vision.
  • Kids should carry glow sticks or flashlights to help them see and be seen by drivers.
  • A costume should be the proper size to prevent trips and falls.

Drivers must also be extra concerned with safety on Halloween by following this advice:

  • Drive slowly and be especially alert in residential neighborhoods. Children will move in unpredictable ways.
  • Take extra time to look for kids at intersections, on medians and on curbs.
  • Enter and exit driveways and alleys slowly and carefully.
  • Eliminate any distractions so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings.
  • Turn your headlights on earlier than you need to. It’s not just about you seeing the kids; your lights help them see you.

Prime time for trick-or-treating is from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., so be especially alert for tiny goblins during those hours.

At our personal injury law firm, we’ve seen too many accidents involving young children. These are the most heartbreaking cases we encounter. Unfortunately, preventable injuries from car accidents are the leading cause of death for kids in the United States. Please do your part to keep the kids in your area safe this October 31.

Marcari, Russotto, Spencer & Balaban represents clients in auto accident  cases throughout the Virginias, the Carolinas and Florida. Call us at (888) 351-1038 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.

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