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Preventing pedestrian accidents on Halloween

It is not terribly difficult to understand why children are more likely to be injured in pedestrian accidents on Halloween than on most other nights of the year. On Halloween, kids are dressed in costumes that may impede their vision and ability to walk normally. Kids are excited to be out and have most likely consumed a significant amount of sugar. There are a lot more people walking along the road than on a normal night. And, perhaps most significantly, many people are driving under the influence of alcohol as they travel between Halloween celebrations.

These risks were made clear by recent data from the U.S. Department of Transportation, which states that 16 people under the age of 21 have been killed in pedestrian accidents on Halloween from 2006 to 2010. This is a greater number than the number of crash deaths on either the preceding or following night.

So what can San Diego parents do to prevent their children from falling victim to pedestrian accidents on Halloween? First, they can make their kids as visible as possible. For example, parents should consider adding reflective tape to their kids' Halloween costumes or asking them to wear a glow-in-the-dark-necklace or carry a glowstick. Children should also use a flashlight if they are out after dark.

In addition, parents should ensure that their children can see and be aware of traffic as they are walking along the road. Make sure that kids won't trip on their costumes and that they can see out of their masks.

Source: Joplin Globe, "Auto accidents biggest threat during trick-or-treating," Oct. 26, 2012

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