Pedestrian deaths among kids are four times as likely on Halloween night, Nassau County police say.
Because of the increased number of children crossing the street during trick-or-treat activities and the fact that many children cross mid-block, instead of at the crosswalk, pedestrians are especially susceptible to traffic accidents on Halloween.
The police department has several suggestions for how both drivers and pedestrians can ensure greater safety on Halloween by taking several extra precautions:
Tips For Trick or Treaters
Carry a flashlight at all times and stay on the sidewalk while trick-or-treating. Avoid cutting through driveways or yards and don’t allow costumes to drag on the floor. Try not to wear masks when going out and do not approach household pets that you are not familiar with. Avoid traffic by going to all the homes on one side of the street, minimizing the chance of running across dark roads.
Tips For Parents
Groups of very young children should always be accompanied by an adult or escort. If you have older children who want to go trick-or-treating and are mature enough to do so without supervision, make sure that they wear a watch, inform you of their whereabouts and when exactly they will be home. It is also important to make sure that parents and older children have cell phones so that they can be reached in case of an emergency.
Tips for Homeowners
The way you keep your home on Halloween night can also affect the safety of those coming to trick-or-treat. Clear your yard of all ladders, hoses, dog leashes and other objects which children may be able to trip on. Don’t keep your pet outside of the house where children take the chance of possibly being bitten. Consider using battery powered jack-o’ lantern candles instead of ones with real flames, which may pose a danger to children.
By Bonnie Ellman