With the excitement of trick-or-treating tonight, Halloween can be a time where all the little ghosts and goblins forget about being safe on the roads.
The Insurance Bureau of Canada reminds parents and motorists to take important safety measures to keep everyone safe on Halloween night.
For drivers, there are several driving “tricks” to keep everyone safe:
• Stay well below the speed limit and give yourself extra time to get to your destination.
• Avoid driving during the hours of 6-9 p.m. when most trick-or-treating takes place.
• Refrain from using a cellphone. Driving must be your main focus as a little trick-or-treater could pop out any time.
• Pay extra attention to what is going on around you. Be conscious of sidewalks and roadways and watch for any children darting across the street or in between parked cars.
• When pulling in or out of driveways, stay alert to your surroundings.
Parents can also follow precautions to ensure motorists aren’t faced with unnecessary toil and trouble:
• Replace your child’s mask with makeup to make sure that they have a clear, unobstructed view of their surroundings.
• Avoid costumes that have dark colours and that will go unnoticed by drivers. Instead choose bright colours or add reflective tape.
• Accompany your child, or if they are old enough make sure they are with a group of responsible friends.
• Instruct children to stay on sidewalks where they are available, but if they must cross, to look both ways before walking across the street. They should check for cars, trucks and low-flying brooms.
• If your community has no sidewalks, walking beside the road at night can be very dangerous — adult accompaniment and flashlights are a must, regardless of the child’s age.
• Halloween isn’t just for the young. If attending a party with the intention to drink plan ahead, make arrangements to get a ride with a designated driver or a taxi.
More tips for safe trick-or-treating:
• Use a flashlight so you and your child will see and be seen more easily.
• Costumes should be short enough to avoid trips and falls.
• Remind children not to eat their treats until an adult at home has checked them over. Don’t eat candy that has already been opened.
• Children should stay in well-lit areas and should only visit homes that have their outside porch lights on. Trick-or-treaters should not go inside homes.
Sources: IBC, CAA and Safe Kids Canada
For more information on Halloween safety tips, visit ibc.ca/en/In_the_Community/Injury_Prevention/Halloween_Safety.asp
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition October 31, 2012