It's almost Halloween, and that means giggling ghosts and winsome witches will be trick-or-treating in your neighborhood. Because kids tend to focus on the excitement of Halloween and forget about safety, it's up to us parents, care givers, and motorists to take special care so that these little boys and "ghouls" have a safe and happy holiday, and aren't "haunted" by unnecessary injuries. The following traffic safety tips will help to ensure that your kids' Halloween is the best ever.
- Stay alert. Neighborhoods that don't normally have a lot of pedestrian and bicycle traffic may experience an increase on Halloween night.
- Remember that kids will be excited, and may be trying to visit as many houses as possible within a specific time frame. Trick-or-treaters may suddenly dart into traffic from between parked cars.
- Be particularly cautious in areas where cars are parked along the side of the street.
- Watch for children walking in the street, especially if there are no sidewalks in the neighborhood.
- Be patient and SLOW DOWN. Give children lots of time to cross the street. Their costumes may impair their ability to see and hear you, and to get out of your way quickly.
- Remember that kids will be excited and may forget to "stop, look, and listen" before they cross the street.
- Purchase or make costumes that are light colored and clearly visible to motorists.
- Decorate (and get the kids to help!) or trim costumes, "goody bags," and other containers with reflective tape that will glow in the beam of a car's headlights.
- Reflective tape can be purchased at bicycle, hardware, and sporting goods stores.
- Make sure costumes are short enough so they don't cause children to trip or fall.
- Children should wear well-fitting, sturdy shoes.
- Masks should not impair a child's hearing or field of vision. If necessary, enlarge ear and eye holes, or use makeup to create special effects. Tie hats and scarves securely to prevent them from slipping over children's eyes.