Astoria Fire Dept Halloween Safety Tips

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Astoria Fire Department and Safe Kids North Coast urge parents to prepare children to act safely and drivers to be particularly alert.

On average, twice as many kids are killed while walking on Halloween than on other days of the year. But with some simple precautions, kids can stay safe.  Astoria Fire Department and Safe Kids North Coast urge parents to prepare children to act safely and drivers to be particularly alert.

 

“Parents need to talk to kids about safety before they go out trick-or-treating,” says Tara Constantine.  “Many kids will be out trick-or-treating while it is dark when it is more difficult for drivers to see them.  There are several easy and effective behaviors that parents can share with kids to help reduce their risk of injury.  For example, children younger than age 12 should not be alone crossing streets on Halloween without an adult.  If older kids are mature enough to go trick-or-treating without adult supervision, parents should make sure they go in a group and stick to a predetermined route with good lighting.”

 

In preparation for Halloween, Safe Kids North Coast will provide kids with reflective materials to promote visibility, including zipper tags that can be attached to costumes and trick-or-treat bags, as well as important safety information for children, parents, and drivers.

 

Drivers need to be extra alert as there will be more children on the streets and sidewalks – and those kids may be focused on gathering candy and caught up in the excitement of the holiday rather than being careful while crossing streets.  “We urge drivers to slow down on neighborhood roads to make Halloween more enjoyable for everyone, but also to help save lives,” added Tara Constantine.

 

Top safety tips for parents:

  • 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.  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. Children should walk on direct routes with the fewest street crossings.
  • Slow down and stay alert – watch out for cars that are turning or backing up and never dart out into the street or cross in between parked cars.
  • Costumes can be both creative and safe. Decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers and, if possible, choose light colors. Masks can obstruct a child’s vision, so choose non-toxic face paint and make-up whenever possible instead. Have kids carry glow sticks or flashlights in order to see better, as well as be seen by drivers.

 

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 kids at intersections, on medians and on curbs. Children are excited on Halloween and 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 more tips on how to help kids become safer pedestrians on Halloween, as well as throughout the year, visit www.safekids.org and visit the Astoria Fire Department Facebook page.