Safety Tips for Halloween; Pedestrian Safety Day in Fairfax County
Oct. 27, 2008
- 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.
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
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
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 at corners, stop at the curbs; use crosswalks and obey traffic
Remove masks before crossing a street – and look left, right, left
Have children wear well-fitting, sturdy shoes to prevent trips and
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
- Adults are reminded not to drink alcohol and drive.
Contact: Merni Fitzgerald, Director, Office of Public Affairs
703-324-3189, TTY 711, Media Pager: 703-324-NEWS (6397)
To request this information in an alternate format, call 703-324-3187, TTY 711