Are You Staying Safe on Halloween?

Julie deFontes, Reporter

Every year on October 31, kids of all ages go house to house saying trick or treat and receiving candy. Though trick or treating is about dressing up, having fun with friends and family, and enjoying candy, there are also safety rules that you should be aware of when you are trick or treating.

In 2016, 7,330 people died in traffic or non-traffic incidents, which occur in driveways, parking lots, or on private properties, according to Injury Facts.

The reason this is a problem, is that many kids don’t pay attention to this fact when they trick or treat. For example, many children trick or treat in neighborhoods, but there are still people using the roads, even on Halloween.

Another problem is that most children aren’t wearing something reflective that the driver can see in the dark.

The centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that children are four times more likely to be hit by a motor vehicle on Halloween than any other holiday.

This is unacceptable, I personally think drivers need to pay better attention to children on Halloween night, and parents need to pay better attention to their children and make sure they either trick or treat with them or advise them on how to be aware of traffic while trick or treating.

Kids need to follow some rules, too. If kids don’t have rules assigned to them they could be in a very high risk of getting hurt.

The first rule is to walk slowly.

Look left, right and left again when crossing the street and keep looking as you cross.

In addition to looking before crossing, children must know to put electronic devices away and keep their heads up while walking across streets. Watch for cars that are turning or backing up.

Finally, children should always walk on sidewalks or paths, not the road.

Young children should trick or treat with an adult. Children under the age of 12 should not be alone at night, without adult supervision.

They should also trick or treat in areas that are familiar to them.

]Decorate costumes and goody bags with reflective tape or stickers and, if possible, choose light colors. An alternative to reflective tape could be to carry glow sticks or flashlights so children can see better and be better seen.

Drive safely on Halloween night as well; slow down and be especially alert in residential neighborhoods.

Children are excited on Halloween and may move in unpredictable ways, so drivers should keep a close eye out for young ones. Take extra time to look for kids at intersections and curbs. Enter and exit driveways slowly, because a child or children could run behind or in front of your vehicle.

Be very alert during 5:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. because those are normally the trick or treating hours. Drivers should make sure to also turn on headlights earlier in the day than usual, that way drivers can see children better.

Overall, kids need to pay attention for vehicles speeding or not slowing down, and drivers need to pay attention to kids walking and running.