Halloween is one of the most fun holidays for kids, but it can also be one of the most dangerous. Vehicles are the biggest danger kids face while trick-or-treating. Kristine Sorensen gets some practical tips from AAA spokesman Jim Garrity on how to keep your kids safe while trick-or-treating this Halloween. Here’s their edited conversation:
Kristine Sorensen: Halloween can be really dangerous to kids, right?
Jim Garrity: Absolutely. According to the Safe Kids Worldwide organization, Halloween night, kids have a more than twice as likely chance of being killed by a moving vehicle, so it’s very important for parents to keep that in mind and take some precautionary steps.
Kristine Sorensen: What should parents do to keep their kids safe?
Jim Garrity: When you’re considering a child’s costume, you want to keep a couple of things in mind, starting with how well the child can or cannot see out of it. For example, maybe it’s wiser to opt-out of using a mask where the child may have a more narrow field of vision. Instead, you could opt for face paint. You also may want to consider getting a costume that is very visual to drivers, or you can incorporate things like reflective tape or glowsticks. That can go a long way to keeping them safe
Kristine Sorensen: Parents are the eyes and ears for kids that night to help keep them safe, right?
Jim Garrity: In the excitement of Halloween, a lot of times, kids are not going to be paying attention to the world around them. They’re worried about getting to the next door to get some candy. So it’s important for parents to make sure they’re not distracted walking around on their phone. Kids are looking up to you. They’re going to emulate everything you do, so you want to set a good example by not walking around on your phone.
Also, make sure the kids are walking against traffic, on the sidewalk if possible, crossing at intersections, and not running out between parked cars.
Kristine Sorensen: If you’re the one driving on Halloween, what do you recommend?
Jim Garrity: If you don’t have to go out, it’s not the best night to run errands, especially if you live in a more suburban or populated area with children. So if you can stay in, stay in.
If you are driving through an area that you know is going to be full of children, drive below the speed limit if you can. Slow down. Make sure you’re not driving on your phone “intexticated.” And look out for kids. They have a tendency to run out from between parked cars or areas where you don’t expect them, and if they’re in a dark costume, you really need to be paying attention.