Newsroom > DHHS News Release

October 27, 2009

Marla Augustine, Communications & Legislative Services, (402) 471-4047,

Note: Sound bites on this topic are available at:


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

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.

Pedestrian safety, like crossing streets only at crosswalks, should be stressed.

Children under age 12 should be accompanied by an adult, said Dr. Joann Schaefer, Chief Medical Officer and Director of the Division of Public Health. Costumes and bags should be decorated with retroreflective tape. 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,” she said. “Slow down and look for kids at intersections, on medians and on curbs.”

Since the time change doesn’t occur until November 1, kids will have an extra hour of daylight compared to previous years.

Other Halloween hazards and precautions include:

  • Sick children – Since the H1N1 flu and other viruses are going around, sick children should not go trick-or-treating to avoid spreading the viruses to other children.
  • 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.

More information about Halloween safety is available at