Halloween might be scary for different reasons than you think. On average, twice as many kids are killed while walking on Halloween than on any other day of the year.
• Before the Halloween
festivities begin, plan a way to safely get home at the end of the night.
Here are a few safety tips and tricks so kids can stay safe while out walking... and adults while out on the town!
• Costumes can be both creative and safe. The most important thing is to make sure you can be seen by drivers. Decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers and, if possible, choose light colors. Masks can obstruct your vision, so choose non-toxic face paint and make-up whenever possible.
• Make sure costume is the right size to prevent trips and falls. Wear well-fitting, sturdy shoes.
• Have kids use glow sticks or flashlights to help them see and be seen by drivers.
• Walk on sidewalks and cross streets at crosswalks or intersection.
• Children under the age of 12 should not be alone at night without adult supervision. If kids are mature enough to be out without supervision, they should stick to familiar areas that are well lit and trick-or-treat in groups.
• Popular trick-or-treating hours are 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. so be especially alert for kids during those hours.
• Examine all treats for choking hazards and tampering before eating them. Limit the amount of treats you eat.
• Eat only factory-wrapped treats. Avoid eating homemade treats made by strangers.
• Expecting trick or treaters? Leave porch lights on to let them know you are ready to give some treats! Otherwise, lights off.
From downtown costume parties to back road bonfires, many celebrations will likely include alcohol. Make your plans for this year's Halloween fun, but keep in mind that one of the best choices you can make is to drive sober or designate a sober driver to get you home safely.
With an increased number of impaired drivers on the road and an increase in pedestrian traffic as children treat-or-treat, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration classifies Halloween as a statistically dangerous night for impaired driving, according to a press release. That danger can be prevented if drivers just plan ahead.
"Every year there are still some people who think they can drive after drinking," said Dr. Leanna Depue, executive chair of the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety. "In 2013 there were nine fatal crashes and 34 serious injury crashes during the Halloween holiday weekend."
• Always designate a sober driver.
• If you've been drinking, take a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation.
• Walking impaired can be just as dangerous as drunk driving. Designate a sober friend to walk you home.
• If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact local law enforcement.
• If you know someone who is about to drive or ride impaired, take their keys and help them make safe travel arrangements to where they are going.