For most of us the magic of Halloween is best characterized by childhood memories of trick-or-treating: the thrill of spooky houses lit only by the glow of jack-o’-lanterns, the guarantee of weeks’ worth of sugar binges, and all manner of fanciful costumes parading in the night.
But with all the festivities, there is also an increased risk of danger. The scariest thing about Halloween, for parents and drivers alike, is that children are twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed than on any other day. For this reason, global non-profit Safe Kids has teamed up with FedEx to promote Halloween pedestrian safety. Together they have provided reflective materials to families in 159 U.S. cities and have compiled safe walking information for everyone who plans to celebrate All Hallow’s Eve.
Below, you can view the top tips from Safe Kids and FedEx, along with a few extras we sourced from the Mayo Clinic, to ensure your Halloween is as safe as it is fun.
Tips for Trick-or-Treaters
- Aim for high visibility. Glow sticks and flashlights are easy ways to make your way through dimly lit neighborhoods, and of equal importance, to ensure you are visible to drivers.
- Heed traffic. Only cross the street at corners, with the aid of traffic signals and crosswalks. And remember to look both ways— and keep looking as you cross. A related note: keep electronic devices in your pocket to limit distraction.
- Stick to sidewalks. If you are in an area without sidewalks or paths, walk as far to the left as you can, facing traffic.
- Be mindful. Don’t cross the street in between parked cars and keep an eye out for cars that are turning or backing up.
Tips for Drivers
- Go slow. Keep your speed down, especially in residential neighborhoods. Keep in mind that 5:30 to 9:30 p.m is a popular time for kids going door to door in search of candy.
- Stay alert. Trick-and-treaters can dart across the street in excitement. Make sure to stay aware of children at intersections, on medians and on curbs.
- Keep distractions at bay. Reduce loud music and distracting activities, like talking on the phone or eating, to increase your concentration while driving.
From the Mayo Clinic, here are three helpful points to keep in mind when it comes to the zenith of Halloween fun: the costumes!
- Choose bright colors. The brighter your child’s costume is, the better. For extra visibility when trick-or-treating after dark, add reflective tape to your child’s costume or goodie bag.
- Size carefully. Make sure your child’s costume is not long enough to cause tripping.
- Ditch the mask. If a mask slips or slides, it can obstruct a child’s vision. Non-toxic makeup is a fun way to recreate the finishing touches for any costume that would otherwise require a mask.
Pass it Along
This great infographic makes it easy to share a quick roundup of Halloween safety with family and friends: