Halloween isn’t just the fun type of scary, it can also be dangerous, especially for children.
Research shows that children are twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween than any other day of the year, said Heidi Morris.
Morris is the coordinator of the Safe Kids Missoula Coalition, which raises awareness about preventable childhood injuries. Safe Kids is a worldwide initiative with more than 600 branches across the United States. Since the group started in 1988, preventable childhood deaths have fallen 55 percent.
Safe Kids Missoula has a series of tips for parents on how to make sure their child has a fun and safe time on Halloween when they are out trick or treating.
Drivers need to take extra caution on Halloween and slow down, especially while in neighborhoods later at night. And while it is never a good idea to use a cell phone or other mobile device while driving, this is especially true on Halloween, when children may run into the street without thinking, Morris said.
“Children are excited for Halloween and may move in unpredictable ways,” she said.
Parents should talk to their kids about watching for cars, and make sure their costume has something reflective on it.
For costumes, Safe Kids recommends that they be decorated to have lighter colors or reflective materials, or have kids use candy bags or buckets that are highly visible. Because masks can obstruct and reduce vision, they said face paint is a preferable option if possible, and that kids should always carry some type of flashlight or glow sticks when out after dark on Halloween.
Morris encouraged parents to make sure kids only cross streets at designated corners and walk on sidewalks, or facing traffic as far to the left as possible when there is no sidewalk available.
More Halloween and everyday child safety tips can be found online at safekids.org.