Preventing Accidental Injury.
KDHE Office of Communications
Halloween is supposed to be a spooky night, but parents don’t have to be scared about their kids’ safety if they follow some simple safety tips from Safe Kids Kansas. Over a recent five-year period, on average, twice as many child pedestrians have been killed on Halloween as have been killed on average throughout the rest of the year.* With the days getting shorter, children are likely to be trick-or-treating in the dark when it is harder for drivers to see them and the excitement of the holiday can make everyone less cautious.
“Parents need to remind kids about safety while walking before they go out trick-or-treating,” says Cherie Sage, State Director for Safe Kids Kansas. “Children should bring flashlights or glow sticks with them, carry reflective bags or have reflective tape on their costumes to increase visibility to drivers. Children should not wear masks which may inhibit their ability to see hazards.”
Tips for Parents and Kids
Safe Kids recommends that children younger than age 12 should not cross streets alone at night without an adult. If kids are mature enough to go trick-or-treating without adult supervision, make sure they go in a group and they stick to a predetermined route with good lighting. Make sure at least one child has a cell phone with them in case of an emergency. Parents must also remind kids to:
Tips for Drivers
Drivers need to do their part to keep trick-or-treaters safe from harm. Safe Kids reminds motorists to be extra careful this Halloween and recommends that drivers:
Although pedestrian safety is a main concern on Halloween, parents also need to keep in mind there are other hazards for their children on this holiday. Parents must check treats for signs of tampering before children are allowed to eat them. To prevent costume fires, keep jack-o’-lanterns that are lit with candles away from doorsteps and walkways, and consider using glow sticks instead of candles. Safe Kids Kansas suggests that parents look for non-flammable costumes and non-toxic designations when choosing Halloween makeup and make sure children wear well-fitting, sturdy shoes to prevent trips and falls. Finally, children should only go to homes where the residents are known and there are outside lights on as a sign of welcome.
For more tips on how to keep kids safe while walking on Halloween and throughout the year, visit www.usa.safekids.org.
Safe Kids Kansas, Inc. is a nonprofit Coalition of over 70 statewide organizations and businesses dedicated to preventing accidental injuries to Kansas children ages 0-14. Local coalitions and chapters cover Allen, Anderson, Atchison, Butler, Clay, Coffey, Dickinson, Doniphan, Douglas, Elk, Ellis, Finney, Geary, Harvey, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Labette, Leavenworth, Marion, Marshall, McPherson, Meade, Mitchell, Montgomery, Pottawatomie, Riley, Saline, Sedgwick, Shawnee, Smith, Sumner, and Wilson counties, as well as the city of Emporia and the Metro Kansas City Area (Wyandotte county and several Missouri counties.) Safe Kids Kansas a member of Safe Kids Worldwide, a global network of organizations whose mission is to prevent accidental childhood injury. The lead agency for Safe Kids Kansas is the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.
Visit us at www.safekidskansas.org and on Facebook.
* Children are more than twice as likely to be killed by a car while walking on Halloween than any other night of the year, according to Safe Kids USA. More than 540 kids under age 14 are killed in pedestrian accidents each year. In an analysis of deaths from 2002 to 2006, the group found an average of 2.2 children are killed in pedestrian accidents from 4 to 10 p.m. on Halloween, compared with one child every other evening at the same time.