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Talk to your kids now about Halloween pedestrian safety

Halloween is unquestionably one of the most exciting holidays for children and teenagers. Even many adults can become obsessively excited about Halloween as it approaches, spending hours planning costumes, getting ready for parties and decorating their house.

One important consideration about Halloween that too many people overlook is safety. When kids are going out to trick or treat on Halloween in Illinois this year, they will be at risk of injury or even death. Statistics analyzing traffic fatalities across the country have routinely placed Halloween in the top three deadliest days of the year for pedestrians.

In other words, your child could wind up severely hurt or even killed while taking part in the giddy enjoyment that is trick-or-treating. As a parent, the best way to help keep your kids safe on Halloween is to talk with them about pedestrian safety before they head out in search of free candy.

Pay close attention before stepping into the street

The first and most obvious rule for pedestrian safety on Halloween or any other day is for pedestrians to pay attention to their surroundings. If you know that there is a vehicle coming, you aren't going to just step off the curb.

Unfortunately, with the presence of so many people nearby and the excitement of wanting to hit as many houses as quickly as possible, some children and teenagers will dart out into the street. Remind your child that they must look both ways before crossing a road. While it may feel remedial, it is the simplicity of the rule that often leads to people ignoring it when it is most important.

Visibility is critical for pedestrian safety

Many Halloween costumes rely on dark colors to make them seem spooky. There is nothing wrong with dressing up as a vampire with a black cape, but this visibility is incredibly important, especially as the sun sets in the evening.

If the costume itself cannot include bright colors, consider purchasing either glow stick jewelry or a small battery-operated light, such as a light-up necklace, that your child can wear while trick-or-treating. While it may clash with their costume, it will make it much easier for other people to notice them on the road.

Teenagers especially need to avoid distracted walking

Perhaps the candy gathering has almost finished up and your teen now wants to meet up with friends to grab a little food or compare what candy they got. Maybe they even plan to head to a party. It is also possible for your teenager to text because they want to share their experiences with their friends.

Whether they are sending a picture to their best friend or updating their Snapchat, pedestrians need to make sure that they don't have phones in their hands or in front of their faces when they cross the road.

While these rules may seem overly simplistic, the truth is that they are very important to the safety of your children when they go out in search of free Halloween candy. Reminding them of safe pedestrian rules might annoy or frustrate them, but it is far better to be a nagging parent than a grieving one.

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