Halloween is one of my favorite times of year – our office is peppered with bowls of fun-sized chocolates and more importantly, I love seeing my kids dressed up in costumes. When I look through our photo album, seeing pictures of Tommy dressed as Superman or Sydney dressed as Princess Leia always make me smile.
This year is no different – the Ross family is ready and waiting for October 31st so that we can trick-or-treat in our neighborhood. “Dr. Tommy Ross” has his lab coat and scrubs and Sydney will be channeling her inner superhero by dressing up as Supergirl. The festivities start early, prior to the sun going down, and my neighbors enjoy decorating their homes with spooky Halloween decorations and lots of black and orange lights. The brightness of our street makes it safer for kids to trick-or-treat and for their parents to keep track of their little goblin or ghost.
While Halloween is a fun excuse to dress up and “beg” for candy, it is also a potentially dangerous time. In fact, twice as many kids are killed in pedestrian/vehicle incidents on Halloween as compared to other days of the year. That’s why Safe Kids teamed up with FedEx to bring Halloween safety information to children, parents and drivers. In preparation for Halloween, Safe Kids and FedEx are providing 150 Safe Kids coalitions across the country with reflective materials to distribute to children in their community to promote them being visible on Halloween. Children will receive reflective trick-or-treat bags and zipper tags that can be attached to their costumes.
My husband and I always make sure to arm the kids with the bags and zipper tags, since it helps to promote visibility of our little ones. Most kids will trick-or-treat after dark and this makes it more difficult for drivers to see them. Drivers need to be extra alert to the kids who will be more focused on collecting candy and getting to the next house as soon as possible.
But pedestrian safety is not just the responsibility of the driver. As parents, we can do our part to help our children stay safe on Halloween also. Safe Kids recommends that children younger than age 12 should trick-or-treat with an adult. Chris and I will accompany our children to make sure they trick-or-treat safely, and we make it a family rule that our children hold the hand of one of us while trick-or- treating. Older kids who are mature enough to go trick-or treating without an adult, should go in a group and stick to a predetermined route with good lighting.
Pedestrian safety should be a concern every day of the year – not just on Halloween. Together Safe Kids and Walk This Way program sponsor FedEx have worked for 11 years to teach safe behaviors to motorists and child pedestrians and to create safer, more walkable communities. We all have a responsibility to keep kids safe on the road and for more Halloween safety tips, I encourage you to visit our Halloween safety page.