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Halloween: A Night for Treats, Not Tragedies

In Local News on October 26, 2011 at 11:17 am

XENIA – Did you know that on average, twice as many kids are killed while walking on Halloween as compared to any other day of the year? Kids will be out this weekend trick or treating while it is dark – making it harder for drivers to see them and because they’re excited about getting candy, they may not be watching out for cars.

Parents and drivers both need to do their part to help kids stay out of the emergency room on Halloween. Emphasize safe pedestrian behaviors to kids before they go out trick-or-treating.

Parents should also remember that costumes can be both creative and safe, so look for ways to use reflective materials. Drivers must slow down and watch out for trick-or-treaters, especially around crosswalks and driveways.

Top tips to keep your kids safe on Halloween

For parents and children:

  • Choose light-colored costumes that can be seen in the dark.
  • Decorate your children’s costumes with reflective materials. Give them flashlights and glow sticks to carry in order to see better, as well as be seen by drivers.
  • Cross the street safely at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks. Look left, right and left again when crossing and keep looking as you cross. Walk, don’t run, across the street.
  • Walk on sidewalks or paths. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible.
  • Children should walk on direct routes with the fewest street crossings.
  • Slow down and stay alert – watch out for cars that are turning or backing up and never dart out into the street or cross in between parked cars.
  • Masks can obstruct a child’s vision, so choose non-toxic face paint, make-up, and wigs instead.

For drivers:

  • Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving. Please find a designated driver if you plan on drinking. Buckle up to be safe and be sure to report drunk drivers to your local law enforcement.
  • Slow down in residential neighborhoods and school zones.
  • Remember that popular trick-or-treating hours are between 5:30 and 9:30 p.m. so be sure to turn on your full headlights.
  • Be especially alert and take extra time to look for kids at intersections, on medians and on curbs. Children are excited on Halloween and may move in unpredictable ways.
  • Slowly and carefully enter and exit driveways and alleys.
  • Eliminate distractions while driving, such as talking on the phone, texting or eating, so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings.

Treats:

While pedestrian safety is a main concern on Halloween, parents and kids should also be careful when dealing with candy. Remind children to only eat treats in original and unopened wrappers.

Beggars Night date and times for Greene County are as follows:

  • Beavercreek 10/31, 6-8pm
  • Bellbrook 10/31, 6-8pm
  • Cedarville 10/31, 6-8pm
  • Fairborn 10/31, 6-8pm
  • Jamestown 10/31, 6-8pm
  • Xenia 10/31, 6-8pm
  • Yellow Springs 10/29, 6-8pm

These safety tips have been provided by SafeKids USA. Learn more at www.safekids.org. For more information on the Greene County Safe Communities Coalition, call Laurie Fox at 937-374-5669 or email her at lfox@gcchd.org.

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