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Originally published: 2012-10-29 11:53:17
Last modified: 2012-10-29 11:53:17

Make fright night a fun night

by Sherrie Norris

Halloween is an exciting time for many people, especially after dark, but statistics indicate that it is also the deadliest night of the year for pedestrians. 
According to Safe Kids North Carolina, which works to prevent injuries in children younger than 14, youngsters are twice as likely to be killed by a vehicle while walking on Halloween than on any other day of the year.

The safety-advocate group recommends that parents talk to their kids about ways to stay safe on Halloween, and that drivers take extra precautions when they drive on the holiday.

Kids are out at night and they may be wearing dark costumes. They may be distracted at the prospect of getting candy  and may not be watching for cars. 

Between the hours of 6 to 9 on Halloween evening, reports say, is when extra caution is needed to prevent serious injuries or death. 

By following the basic safety tips provided by Safe Kids, Halloween can be a fun and safe night for children of all ages.


Visibility

Place reflective tape and stickers to the fronts and backs of costumes and treat bags.

Light-colored costumes help kids stand out in the dark night. 


General Injury Prevention

Lightweight costumes, at least four to six inches from the ground, are safest for preventing falls while traveling from house to house.

Opt for flexible accessories and props, such as swords for pirate costumes, since rigid accessories can cause additional injuries during falls.

Choose nontoxic makeup, instead of masks, to allow better vision.

Hats and shoes should fit well -- adult clothing may be fun for children, but oversized clothes are also more dangerous.

Make sure that children do not puncture glow sticks that they wear or play with since some contain toxic substances. 


Burn Prevention

Keep candles, jack-o'-lanterns, matches and lighters out of kids' reach.

Purchase only costumes labeled as flame resistant.

Costumes with flimsy material, baggy sleeves or billowing skirts are more likely to come in contact with exposed flames than tighter-fitting costumes. 

Traffic Safety

Practice good pedestrian habits such as stopping at street corners before crossing, looking both ways before crossing any street, and crossing only at intersections or crosswalks.Use sidewalks whenever possible and avoid crossing lawns that might have hidden obstacles.