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Safety experts at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital urge caution to keep children safe this Halloween

by | Posted on Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2013 — 2:31 PM

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Safety experts at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt want Halloween horrors to be caused by ghosts and goblins, not accidents and injuries.

On average, twice as many children are killed while walking on Halloween than on any other day of the year, according to Safe Kids, an organization dedicated to preventing unintentional injury. As children prepare for October’s fun-filled night of trick-or-treating, a few precautionary measures could prevent vehicle-related deaths and other injuries.

“On Halloween, more children are on the street after dark than normal, and they are so excited that they may run out into the street without thinking,” said Sarah Haverstick, Safe Children Program Manager at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. “Drivers need to take extra care and slow down on neighborhood roads. And, of course, it’s very important that drivers put down mobile devices to avoid distraction.”

Children’s Hospital is partnering with Safe Kids and FedEx to help prevent unnecessary death and injury this Halloween.  Across the country, 156 Safe Kids Coalitions, with support from FedEx volunteers, will provide reflective materials and safety information to children and parents. Children are encouraged to wear the reflective material on Halloween night to increase their visibility to drivers.

“Parents need to talk to their children about watching out for cars while trick-or-treating,” said Haverstick. “And make sure that their costumes have something reflective on them so cars can see them.  You could even have kids put on a glow stick necklace or a reflective slap bracelet.”

Haverstick recommends these tips to keep children safe on Halloween:

Top safety tips for kids:

  • Costumes can be both creative and safe. The most important thing is to make sure you can be seen by driversDecorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers and, if possible, choose light colors. Masks can obstruct your vision, so choose non-toxic face paint and makeup whenever possible. Carry glow sticks or flashlights so you can see better, as well as be seen by drivers.
  • Cross the street safely at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks. Look left, right, and left again when crossing, and keep looking as you cross.
  • Put electronic devices down and keep heads up and walk, don’t run, across the street.
  • Walk on sidewalks or paths. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible.
  • Slow down and stay alert. Watch out for cars that are turning or backing up and don’t dart out into the street or cross in between parked cars.

Top safety tips for drivers:

  • Slow down in residential neighborhoods. Remember that popular trick-or-treating hours are 5:30 to 9:30 p.m.
  • Be especially alert and take extra time to look for children at intersections, on medians and on curbs. Halloween is an exciting time and children may move in unpredictable ways.
  • Reduce any distractions inside your car, such as talking on the phone or eating, so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings.

For additional Halloween safety information, visit Children’s Hospital’s website or review Safe Kids USA’s safety tips.

Contact:
Ashley Culver, (615) 322-4747
ashley.culver@vanderbilt.edu


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