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Traffic Safety Tips for Boys and “Ghouls” on Halloween!

Halloween is creeping up on us and will be here before we can say, “Boo!” Soon, costumed kids, dressed as courageous cartoon heroes, winsome witches, and precocious princesses 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 parents, caregivers, and motorists to make sure that every little boy and “ghoul” has a safe and happy holiday, and isn’t “haunted” by unnecessary injuries. The following traffic safety tips will help make every child’s Halloween a safe and happy one.

Motorists

  • 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. They may forget to “stop, look, and listen” before they cross the street.

  • Be particularly cautious in areas where cars are parked along the side of the street. Trick-or-treaters may suddenly dart into traffic from between parked cars.

  • 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.

Parents and Caregivers

  • Purchase or make costumes that are brightly 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.

  • Children should carry flashlights or “glow sticks.” This will help them see and be seen.

  • When arriving at or leaving an organized event like a school or church party, be sure to watch for children walking or bicycling around your car.

  • An adult should accompany the trick-or-treaters as they make their way around the neighborhood.

Trick-or-Treaters

  • No running! Always walk when crossing streets, and cross at corners or crosswalks - whenever possible.

  • Look “left-right-left-again” for cars before stepping off the curb to cross the street.

  • Stay with the adult who is leading the group.

  • Try on your costume before Halloween night. Make sure it’s above your shoes, so that you won’t trip on it and hurt yourself. If you’re wearing a mask, make sure you can see and hear out of it.

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