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According to the CDC, children are four times more likely to be struck by a car on Halloween than on any other day of the year. For adults and children – Halloween is one of the top 3 days for pedestrian injuries according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. 

So, how do you keep your little goblins safe on the street? Part of your strategy involves costume safety – and part pedestrian rules. Follow these guidelines to keep your trick –or-treater safe when out in the neighborhood:

Costume Safety

Costume safety focuses on making your child visible to drivers – and helping the child improve his sight at night. Here are some well-tested rules:

  1. Choose a costume that is light in color – or attach reflective tape to areas of a darker costume. You can also attach tape to the treat bucket as well.
  2. Consider using makeup on your child’s face – instead of a mask. Test the makeup in a small area first to be sure there is no allergic reaction. 
  3. If your child insists on a mask, consider making the eye holes larger so vision is not hindered. 
  4. Ask your child to remove his mask when crossing the street or walking between houses. 
  5. Avoid long costumes, large shoes or high heels. Try your child’s costume on before the night to allow time to adjust any areas to avoid tripping hazards.
  6. Provide a flashlight to help your child see where she is going. 

Pedestrian Safety

Emphasize that drivers cannot see children as well at night – and follows these rules:

  • Only cross streets at the corners. Never cross from between cars. 
  • Look both ways – and then look again. 
  • Travel together if possible. Children under 12 should have an adult to supervise. 
  • If you are not with your child, be sure his emergency contact information is a part of the costume and easy to find. 
  • Discuss the route before your child sets out. Know where he plans to go.
  • If your child is not with you, set a curfew. Give your child a watch with a backlight to follow the time. An older child may also use a cell phone. 

Enjoy the holiday – take lots of pictures. They truly are only this age once! 

Karen K. Meyer, MD

Methodist Physicians Clinic Hawthorne Court (178 & Q)

Dr. Meyer answers your questions about child development and parenting. Dr. Meyer decided to become a doctor when she was in school and learned about the body's systems and the miracle of how they all work together. She likes talking to children and helping them feel better. Dr. Meyer believes that children are not little adults and they need to be treated in a way that will help them understand why they aren't feeling well and what they can do to get better. She also works to build tru ...

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