By Brynn Schintgen
GREEN BAY – Halloween is Tuesday, Oct. 31, and kids around the community are getting ready for a sugar-fueled night of fright and fun.
However, the Center for Childhood Safety said that children are almost twice as likely to be killed by a motor vehicle on Halloween night than any other day of the year.
Kimberly Hess, executive director at the Center for Childhood Safety, has a few tips on how to make Halloween a safe and fun holiday for everyone.
One of the most important tips that Hess mentioned was making sure that children know how to walk safely.
“We always stress trying to get kids to cross at crosswalks, and always use sidewalks if possible,” Hess said.
She also encourages parents to give their kids “glow sticks, reflective tape, and flashlights,” as that can make them more visible to drivers in the dark.
She said that going to neighborhoods that close down the streets to traffic can be helpful, but even more important is simply educating and talking to children about safe walking habits.
To parents and drivers alike, Hess said to “remember that kids are unpredictable,” and stressed that parents should stay close to their kids while trick-or-treating and that drivers should slow down and stay extra vigilant about looking for pedestrians.
Hess also mentioned that parents should opt for face-paint over masks, as masks can obscure a child’s vision, especially while walking in the dark.
Additionally, parents should make sure that costumes are safe for walking by ensuring it is the right size and doesn’t drag on the ground, as that makes it more likely for a child to trip and fall.
When asked about what types of candy people buy, Hess wants people to “think about the kinds of candy you are giving out, and don’t give out anything homemade. You can also go to the dollar store and get some Halloween themed trinkets if you don’t want to give out candy.”
Hess recommends that “parents should always go through their child’s candy before they eat it, for safety and for potential allergens.” She also stressed that everything should be pre-wrapped, and to throw away anything that isn’t.
Hess has one last tip: “Make sure kids aren’t distracted with electronic devices… that makes them less aware of their surroundings and more likely to walk into oncoming traffic.”
Following these safety tips will ensure that monsters and ghouls are the only scary part of Halloween.