Protecting Our Little Ghosts and Goblins

Dayton Children’s Soon-to-be-Mommy Blogger – Jessica Saunders

Halloween is one of my favorite times of the year.  It will come as no surprise to those who know me that I would begin planning for the upcoming Halloween literally the day after Halloween – just ask my mom!  And I’m especially excited because next Halloween I’ll have a little 10-month-old hot pepper, pumpkin or pea of my own! Next Halloween will be the beginning of many to come where I’ll be dressing a little ghost or goblin myself!

Through my work with injury prevention and Safe Kids Greater Dayton, the injury prevention coalition led by Dayton Children’s, I’ve learned that Halloween is the most dangerous night of the year for child pedestrians. It’s so exciting to be dressed up and run through the neighborhood getting candy and seeing friends – however danger can lurk around every corner and at every crosswalk.

I’ve been the adult handing out candy and watching little ones cross the street – not necessarily at a crosswalk – and walk up my driveway to see what goodies I have for them. I’ve also seens cars race down the street not paying attention to those Disney Princesses or X-Men.

Before you go out with your child this year make sure to review Halloween these safety tips. A few deserve special mention.

Be smart about costumes!

  • Painted faces are safer than masks because the child can see clearer. However, make sure to  use non-toxic paint and test it on your child’s arm or leg a day or two before you venture out to trick-or-treat to see if your child’s skin is too sensitive.
  • Choose costumes that are not too long.  Children can easily trip as they are going up and down porch stairs or crossing the street.
  • Make sure your child’s costume is light in color or has some sort of retro reflective material/tape to make your child easier to be seen in the dark or at dusk.  Another option is to have them carry a glow stick.

Be good pedestrians (and drivers)!

  • Remind children to follow the rules of the road such as crossing at crosswalks and looking both ways before crossing the street.
  • If you are driving on Halloween, make sure you watch for children and slow down – particularly in residential areas.

Happy Halloween!

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