Safety Tips for Halloween; Pedestrian Safety Day in Fairfax County

Oct. 27, 2008

News Highlights 

  • Keep children safe while enjoying the excitement of Halloween.
  • Don't let children ignore normal safety precautions while trick-or-treating.
  • Children are more likely to be killed walking on Halloween night than walking any other night.

More Information 

  • Halloween 2008 Events and Safety Tips

At its Oct. 20 meeting, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors proclaimed Oct. 31, Halloween, as Pedestrian Safety Day in Fairfax County. Children are four times more likely to be killed walking on this night than any other. To make Halloween a treat, not a trick, the Fairfax County Department of Transportation, Fire and Rescue Department and Police Department offer tips to help keep children safe while enjoying the festive day.

  • Don’t let children ignore normal safety precautions in the excitement of Halloween.

  • Younger children should go with an adult or older, responsible youth. Older children should provide their route and when they expect to return. If possible, provide a cell phone for trick-or-treaters.

  • Only visit homes that have porch lights on; do not talk to strangers; do not go into homes or cars of strangers; and do not approach animals that are not familiar.

  • Make sure children know their name, home phone number and address (give them a card with the information on it) and that they should provide this information to a police officer in an emergency or if they are lost.

  • Make sure trick-or-treaters can be seen by wearing something reflective or carrying a flashlight or glow stick.

  • Ensure that children can see from their costumes — widen eye holes in masks; use face paint or makeup instead of masks; make sure scarves, hats or wigs don’t obstruct vision.

  • When walking with trick-or-treaters, hold hands.

  • Walk on sidewalks; never dart into the street or between parked cars to cross.

  • Cross at corners, stop at the curbs; use crosswalks and obey traffic signals.

  • Remove masks before crossing a street – and look left, right, left before crossing.

  • Have children wear well-fitting, sturdy shoes to prevent trips and falls.

  • Make sure a child’s costume is fire retardant; if making it, check that the materials are fire retardant. Costumes should be short enough so they don’t interfere with walking.

  • If a child carries an accessory, such as a fake sword, make sure it’s made from a flexible material such as rubber, so it cannot injure the child or others.

  • Caution children to wait until a trusted adult has inspected the treats before eating. Although food tampering is rare, it’s safest to eat only those candies that are individually wrapped and not homemade, unless you know the families who have prepared the homemade treats.

  • Jack-o-lanterns with candles are a tremendous fire hazard; try flashing holiday lights or a battery-powered candle instead.

  • Drivers are reminded to be particularly alert, drive slowly and cautiously and use full headlights to spot children more easily and to be seen. Trick-or-treating is most popular between 5:30 and 9:30 p.m.

  • Adults are reminded not to drink alcohol and drive.



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