Halloween is an exciting time of year for many young people, but it also holds its share of hidden dangers for children trick-or-treating on neighborhood streets.
“The risk of becoming a pedestrian fatality increases four times during Halloween,” said Jack Peet, manager of Community Safety Services for AAA Michigan. Peet added that Daylight Savings Time ends prior to Halloween (Oct. 31) this year, which means that darkness will descend one hour earlier — perfect weather conditions for ghouls and goblins, but dangerous for young Halloween pedestrians, who often dress in black costumes.
AAA Michigan recommends these Halloween safety tips for motorists, parents, caregivers and children:
* Motorists should drive much more slowly through neighborhoods. Children dart from house to house, excited about candy collection, and forget about traffic and other dangers. Look for children around porches, front lawns and other remote areas, not just the sidewalks.
* Parents are encouraged to walk with children door to door while trick- or-treating, showing children safe places to cross the street. Intersections and designated crosswalks are the safest options.
* Children and parents both should wear light-colored clothing or costumes with reflective material or tape for the best visibility to drivers. Luminescent “glow sticks” have also become a popular option to make children more visible.
* Use face paint instead of masks. Masks can limit the ability to see and hear oncoming traffic.
* Children should carry flashlights to see and to be seen at night, but should not shine them into drivers’ or each other’s eyes.
* Trick-or-treaters should always walk facing traffic if there are no sidewalks available.
Recently, more families are attending Halloween events rather than door- to-door trick-or-treating. Halloween parties and mall trick-or-treating can be two safe popular alternatives to the traditional Halloween.
Source: AAA Michigan