Four times as many children are killed by cars on Halloween night than on other nights of the year, according to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). At most recent count, an average of four children between the ages of 5 and 14 are killed by a car between the hours of 4 pm and 10 pm on Halloween. The CDC cautions that this may even be an underestimate, since off-road crashes, such as those occurring in driveways, parking lots and sidewalks were not included in these numbers. Some communities celebrate Halloween multiple nights, which was not considered in these statistics.
Keep your kids safe this Halloween with these tips from the CDC:
- Plan a trick-or-treat route for in a known neighborhood.
- Children should use a flashlight, stay on the sidewalk and avoid crossing yards.
- Children should cross at the street corner, use crosswalks and avoid walking between parked cars.
- Use face paint instead of a mask for kiddie costumes. If your child does wear a mask, it should fit properly so the holes for eyes and ears do not obscure sight or hearing.
- Children should avoid wearing long, baggy costumes, or oversized shoes to reduce the likelihood of tripping.
- Children should be encouraged to wear bright, reflective and flame retardant costumes, rather than a black costume, which can be difficult for motorists to see.
"Parents and caregivers of young children may overestimate the ability of their children to negotiate traffic independently, underscoring the need for constant adult supervision of school-aged children during trick-or-treat activities," says the CDC. It cautions drivers to drive slowly, watch for children in the street , and exit driveways and alleyways with care.