Safe Ideas for Halloween

Millions of American children go trick or treating every year. Children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car on Halloween than on any other day of the year. 70% of the collisions on Halloween involving children occur away from an intersection or crosswalk.

Morrisville, Vermont, has been particularly proactive about closing down some of its village streets to make trick or treating safer for children. While Hyde Park Village does not close its streets, there is a fire department and sheriff presence that makes both drivers and children aware of the need to be extra careful on Halloween.

Here are some suggestions to reduce the risk of injury to children on Halloween:

●Always accompany young children.

●While it is important to exercise caution during all hours of Halloween, for whatever reasons it is particularly dangerous for pedestrian collisions between 6 and 7 P.M. Perhaps that’s the dusk hour in most localities in the United States and therefore the risk is greater.

●Only trick or treat in neighborhoods with sidewalks. If you must walk on the street, keep to the far left, facing traffic.

●Use crosswalks and always look left, right and left again before crossing.

●Use reflective tape on costumes to make your child more visible. Also have her or him carry a flashlight or wear a headlamp.

If you are driving, please note the following:

■Drive slowly.

■While this is true for everyday driving as well, eliminate in-car distractions such as texting, talking on your cell phone or fiddling with your audio system.

■Exercise extra caution at intersections and corners.

■Pull in and out of driveways very carefully.

■Discuss these and other driving pointers with your teen driver.