For Immediate Release: October 29, 2010
Be Safe in the Street When You Trick-or-Treat
Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin and Safe Kids North Carolina offer Halloween safety tips
RALEIGH -- Halloween is one of the most exciting nights of the year for many kids, but it can also be one of the most dangerous. On average, twice as many children are killed while walking on Halloween than on other days of the year.
"On Halloween, kids can get caught up in the fun and forget safety measures like looking both ways before crossing a street," said Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin, chair of Safe Kids North Carolina. "As parents and caregivers, we need to make sure they know and use safe practices, and as drivers, we need to be extra alert for kids in and near roadways."
Pedestrian Safety Tips:
- Trick-or-treat in groups. Kids under 12 should go with an adult. Stick to familiar, well-lit areas.
- Use sidewalks or paths. Cross streets at corners and use traffic signals and crosswalks. Look left, right and left again to check for cars before you walk, never run, across the street.
- Watch out for cars that are turning or backing up. Never cross between parked cars or dart into the street.
- Decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or materials and wear light colors so that it's easier for cars to see you. Carry a flashlight and choose non-toxic facepaint or makeup instead of masks, which can obstruct your vision.
Driving Safety Tips:
- Slow down and stay alert, especially in residential neighborhoods and school zones. The majority of trick-or-treaters are out between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. Drive with your full headlights on, even at dusk, so that you can see children and they can see you.
- Enter and exit driveways and alleys slowly and carefully. Take extra time to look for kids at intersections and on medians and curbs.
- Avoid doing things that can distract you from driving, such as talking on the phone or eating.
- Remember that costumes can limit children's vision, and they might not be able to see your vehicle.
You should also take steps to prevent fires and burn injuries this Halloween.
Fire and Burn Prevention Tips:
- Look for a costume with a label that indicates it is made of flame-resistant materials. If you're making a costume, choose materials that won't ignite easily if they come in contact with heat or flame. Form-fitting costumes without billowing or trailing fabric are less likely to brush against ignition sources.
- Instead of a candle, use a battery-operated light or flashlight in your jack-o-lantern. Supervise children while trick-or-treating so that they avoid contact with lit candles and jack-o-lanterns.
- Decorations like corn stalks and crepe paper are highly flammable. Keep them away from open flame and heat sources.
- Teach children to cover their faces and "Stop, Drop and Roll" if their clothing catches fire.