MESA, AZ - Halloween can be a scary holiday for parents concerned about their kids' safety while trick-or-treating. And they have a right to worry!
According to Mesa Fire/Medical officials, kids are two times more likely to get hit and killed while walking on Halloween than any other night of the year.
Fire and Life Safety Education Specialist Jean DeStories said it's important to add reflective gear to dark costumes and give kids glow sticks to carry.
She also said to use face paint instead of masks, which can block a child's view.
Fire Capt. Forrest Smith said candles and costumes can be a dangerous combination. He suggested folks use battery operated candles in their Halloween decorations instead of real ones because costumes can easily catch on fire.
Here are some of their top tips to keep kids safe on Halloween:
For parents and children :
- Children under 12 should trick-or-treat and cross streets with an adult.
- Always walk on sidewalks or paths. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far left as possible.
- Cross the street at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks. Parents should remind children to watch for cars that are turning or backing up.
- Look left, right, left again when crossing. Walk, don't run, across the street.
- Slow down and be especially alert in residential neighborhoods.
- Anticipate heavy pedestrian traffic. Turn on your headlights earlier in the day so you can spot children from greater distances.
- Remember that costumes can limit children's visibility and they may not be able to see your vehicle.
- Reduce any distractions inside your vehicle so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings.
Costumes and Treats:
- Decorate costumes and make-up with reflective tape or stickers and choose light colored costumes to improve visibility.
- Choose face paint and make-up instead of masks, which can obstruct a child's vision.
- Avoid carrying sticks, swords, or other sharp objects.
- Have kids carry glow sticks or flashlights in order to see better, as well as be seen by drivers.
- Check treats for signs of tampering before children are allowed to eat them. Candy should be thrown away if the wrapper is faded or torn, or if candy is unwrapped.