As Halloween approaches, AAA reminds parents, motorists and homeowners to be extra cautious this year. Pedestrian traffic fatalities are already a great risk for children and this threat increases four-fold during Halloween night,” says Rose White, public affairs director for AAA – The Auto Club Group.
The motor club reminds parents that safety starts with the costume selection process.
“Some Halloween costumes and masks are unsafe, limiting a child’s visibility and their range of vision,” White said. “If this is a problem, use a small scissors to enlarge the holes, or use make-up instead of a mask. Darker colored costumes are more difficult to see at night. To compensate for this problem, use reflective tape and accessories that glow-in-the-dark which will make children more visible to motorists. Be sure to check the length of the costume and make it shorter if necessary. The child should safely be able to climb steps and get in and out of a vehicle without any difficulty. Once the child is fully dressed, make certain he or she can freely move their arms and legs,” she added.
To help reduce the risks for young pedestrians during the holiday, AAA suggest these Halloween safety rules for parents, motorists and homeowners:
• Plan the trick-or-treat route in advance, and include only neighborhoods you know.
• Review proper street-crossing procedures with your kids before they venture out for the evening.
• Avoid areas where no sidewalks are available.
• An adult should accompany all children, even older children traveling in groups.
• Avoid taking your children to intersections where a right hand turn on a red light is permissible.
• Always inspect the treats when you return home from your adventure.
• Slow down and drive slower than the posted speed limit to give you extra time to react to children who dart out in front of you.
• Be extra alert to children crossing the street between parked cars or in the middle of the block.
• Broaden your scan—look left and right into yards and driveways.
• Turn your lights on even in daylight to make you more visible to pedestrian traffic.
• Use extra caution if turning into or backing out of driveways.
• Do not turn right on a red light unless you can clearly see there is no pedestrian traffic.
● Avoid distractions and refrain from using your cell phone.
• Remove planters or any other ornamental yard decorations from the walkway or porch areas that could cause children to trip or fall.
• Avoid using fire-lit objects near walkways where fire may ignite costumes or hand held Halloween accessories.
• Keep family pets safely secured and away from areas where children may be present.
• Use bright light bulbs in your outdoor light fixtures located near your front door, driveway or walkway area.
• If children must walk across your driveway to reach your front door, park your vehicles in an area that gives them ample room to walk. Doing so will prevent costumes from catching on side door mirrors and prevent scratches to your vehicle caused by costume accessories.
• Since some children may walk across your yard, make certain hoses and yard tools are safely stowed away.
• Remove thick door mats that may cause small children to trip and fall.
• Avoid placing any ornaments on steps.
• Do not invite children into your home to receive their treats.