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2019-10-29T11:02:54-06:00October 30th, 2019|

Halloween and Harvest safety is up to all of us – keep this year’s holiday fun with these easy tips from Regional One Health

Halloween frights are meant to be fun and fictional, not tragic and real.

But with large numbers of kids taking to dark streets for trick-or-treating, it’s all too easy for something to go wrong.

Kids will be out after dark on Halloween for trick-or-treating – and it’s up to everyone to help keep them safe.

Pamela Finnie, Trauma Program Manager for Regional One Health’s Elvis Presley Trauma Center, said several factors play a role:

  • The sheer number of kids out and about
  • Lack of visibility at night
  • Distracted drivers
  • Costumes that make it hard for kids to see and walk

“It only takes a second for a tragedy to occur, and there’s plenty of opportunity for bad things to happen on Halloween,” Finnie said. “The good news is, with a little common sense and patience, we can all do our part to make the holiday safe and fun for everybody.”

A startling statistic from the National Safety Council indicates the concern is real: kids are more than twice as likely to be struck and killed by a car on Halloween than any other day all year.

With that in mind, Finnie offered some tips everyone can follow to make sure trick-or-treating goes off without a hitch. “Remember, Halloween only happens one night a year,” she said. “Be vigilant and courteous whether you’re behind the wheel or out trick-or-treating. Public safety is everyone’s responsibility, and it takes so little to do your part.”

Before the kids head out the door, make sure their costumes don’t contribute to safety woes:

Young children should be accompanied by an adult during trick-or-treat. If you let older kids go it alone, make sure you lay down some rules first.

  • Costumes, wigs and accessories should be fire-resistant.
  • Don’t use masks that obstruct vision.
  • Fasten reflective tape to kids’ costumes and treat bags, or give them glow sticks or flashlights.
  • Make sure costumes don’t pose a tripping hazard.

During trick-or-treating, play it safe with age-appropriate guidelines:

  • Young kids should be accompanied by a responsible adult.
  • If older kids trick-or-treat alone, plan a route ahead of time that you’re OK with. Agree on a reasonable time to return home.
  • Only trick-or-treat in familiar, well-lit areas.
  • If your kids are going out without you, make sure they stay in a group and never enter a stranger’s home or car.
  • Put your electronic devices down and keep your heads up as you walk.
  • Don’t run between houses or dart across streets. Look both ways, and use a crosswalk if possible.
  • Stick to sidewalks. If there is no sidewalk, walk on the far edge of the road facing traffic.

When trick-or-treating, only go to houses where the lights are on. Stick to familiar neighborhoods.

If you’re driving during trick-or-treating hours, practice situational awareness.

  • Be extra alert for kids walking on roads, medians, curbs and sidewalks.
  • Take additional care when entering and exiting driveways or alleys.
  • Be aware that kids may be hard to see if they’re wearing dark clothing.
  • If you’re a new or inexperienced driver, avoid getting behind the wheel.
  • Don’t drive distracted. Put your cell phone down.
  • If you’re planning to drink alcohol as part of your Halloween celebration, do not drive.
  • Assign a designated driver or use a ride service or taxi.

Regional One Health reminds everyone to play it safe this Halloween and Harvest holiday. To support our team’s efforts in protecting the community, visit regionalonehealth.org/foundation.

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