Newsroom > DHHS News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 29, 2008

CONTACT
Marla Augustine, Communications & Legislative Services, (402) 471-4047, marla.augustine@dhhs.ne.gov  

Halloween: Don’t Let Cars and Kids Go Bump in the Night

Safe Kids Nebraska Offers Halloween Safety Tips

Lincoln - Children are four times more likely to be hit by a car on Halloween than any other night of the year, and the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) reminds parents and caregivers to make sure children going trick-or-treating walk safely and stay visible to drivers.

"All the usual rules of pedestrian safety still apply," said Dr. Joann Schaefer, Chief Medical Officer of the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. "Walk, don’t run. Cross the street only at a crosswalk or corner, after looking both ways, and never dart out into the street."

In addition, children under age 12 should be accompanied by an adult. "Naturally, kids will be excited, and they’ll need active supervision," said Schaefer. "Older kids who have demonstrated the maturity and good judgment to go trick-or-treating with friends, without adult supervision, should stick to a predetermined route with good lighting."

Costumes and bags should be decorated with retroreflective tape and, if possible, made of light colors. Kids can carry glow sticks or flashlights to be more visible to drivers.

"Drivers can do their part by being especially careful in residential neighborhoods," said Jessi Peterson, Safe Kids Coordinator. "Slow down and look for kids at intersections, on medians and on curbs."

Other Halloween hazards and precautions include:

  • Falls - Costumes should be short enough to avoid tripping, and shoes and headgear should fit properly. Choose face paint and makeup, because they do not restrict vision as masks do. Toy weapons and other props should be flexible so they do not present an injury hazard if the child falls.
  • Burns - Make sure store-bought costumes and accessories are labeled "flame resistant" and use flame-resistant material when making costumes. Avoid baggy, flimsy or billowing costumes. Keep jack-o’-lanterns lit with candles away from doorsteps and walkways, and consider using glow sticks instead of candles.
  • Tampered Candy - Parents should inspect candy and treats to make sure they are sealed and show no signs of tampering. Children under age 6 should not be given hard candy or other small, round items because of the choking hazard
  • Sick Children - Children who are already sick should not go trick-or-treating on Halloween to avoid spreading colds or viruses to other children.

More information about Halloween safety is available at http://www.cdc.gov/Features/HalloweenSafety/.

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