October 10, 2007
Choose costumes that are light colored and can be seen easily by drivers in the dark. Decorate darker costumes with reflective materials to increase visibility.
Topsail Island, NC - (NAPSA)-Many parents find Halloween almost as frightening as their children do-but not because of the ghosts and gobblins. Experts say the holiday is one of the most dangerous times of the year for children to walk because they will be out trick-or-treating in the dark when it is harder for drivers to see them.
That's why it can be a particularly good time for parents to remind kids of the rules for navigating streets and sidewalks.
¥ Cross streets safely. Cross at the corner. Try to make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them. Don't assume that because you can see the driver, the driver can see you.
¥ 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.
¥ Children under age 10 should not be out walking alone without adult supervision. Children under age 12 should not be out walking alone at night. If kids are mature enough to be out without supervision, they should stick to a predetermined route with good light.
¥ Be a safe pedestrian around cars. Watch for cars that are turning or backing up. Never dart out into the street or cross in between parked cars. Also, it's important to remember that the excitement of the holiday can be distracting to both drivers and children.
"Parents have many concerns on Halloween and we need to remember that kids must be reminded about safety while walking before they head out," says Dr. Martin Eichelberger, co-founder and chairman of Safe Kids Worldwide.
Eichelberger and the child pedestrian safety experts at Safe Kids offer these tips to keep kids safe:
¥ Decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers and, if possible, choose light colors.
¥ Choose face paint and makeup whenever possible instead of masks, which can obstruct a child's vision.
¥ Have kids carry glow sticks or flashlights in order to see better as well as be seen by drivers.
Parents also need to keep in mind that there are other potential hazards for children on that night. For instance, kids should be reminded to only eat treats in original, unopened wrappers and to throw away candy if the wrapper is faded, torn or if the candy is unwrapped.
Safe Kids Worldwide and program sponsor FedEx created the Safe Kids Walk This Way program to help prevent pedestrian-related injury to children.
For more information, visit www.usa.safekids.org/wtw.