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REMSA and Safe Kids Washoe County offer safe trick-or-treating tips



Trick-or-Treating should be one of the great adventures of Halloween for kids. It should also be a fun and safe experience. However, on average, twice as many kids are killed while walking on Halloween compared to other days of the year. REMSA and Safe Kids Washoe County would like to offer some tips to make this Halloween and Trick-or-Treat adventure just that…fun and safe.

“Kids need proper safety instruction before they go out trick-or-treating,” said Melissa Krall, Safe Kids Washoe County coordinator. “Many kids will be out trick-or-treating while it is dark and that makes it more difficult for drivers to see them. There are a couple of tips parents can remember like children younger than age 12 should not be alone crossing streets at night without an adult. If older kids are mature enough to go trick-or-treating without adult supervision, parents should make sure they go in a group and stick to a predetermined route with good lighting.”

“Drivers also need to be extra alert as there will be more children on the streets and sidewalks. Kids may also be focused on gathering candy and the excitement of the holiday versus remembering their safety rules,” added Krall. “We urge drivers to slow down on neighborhood roads to make Halloween more enjoyable for everyone, but also to help save lives.”

Trick-or-Treating Safety Tips:

-Plan a safe route so parents know where their older kids will be at all times. Set a time for their return home. Make sure that children are old enough and responsible enough to go out by themselves.

-Let your children know not to cut through back alleys and fields. Make sure they know to stay in populated places and not go off the beaten track. Stay in well-lighted areas.

-Stop only at familiar houses in your own neighborhood unless an adult accompanies them

-Small children should never be allowed to go out alone on Halloween. Make sure an older sibling or adult is with them.

-Instruct your children not to eat any treats until they bring them home to be examined by you.

-Instruct your child to never go into the home of a stranger or get into their car.

-Make sure your child carries a flashlight, glow stick or has reflective tape on their costume to make them more visible to cars.

-Let them know that they should stay together as a group if going out to Trick or Treat without an adult.

-Cross the street safely at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks. Look left, right and left again when crossing and keep looking as you cross. Walk, don’t run, across the street.

-Walk on sidewalks or paths. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible. Children should walk on direct routes with the fewest street crossings.

-Slow down and stay alert – watch out for cars that are turning or backing up and never dart out into the street or cross in between parked cars.

-Help your child pick out or make a costume that will be safe. Make sure it is fire proof and that the eyeholes are large enough for good peripheral vision.

-If you set jack-o-lanterns on your porch with candles in them, make sure that they are far enough out of the way so that kids’ costumes won’t accidentally catch fire.

-Make sure that if your child is carrying a prop, such as a scythe or a pitchfork, that the tips are smooth and flexible enough to not cause injury if fallen on.

-Children always want to help carve the pumpkin. Small children shouldn’t be allowed to use a sharp knife to cut the top or the face. It’s best to let them clean out the pumpkin and draw a face on it, which you can then carve for them.

-Remind your kids before they leave to Trick or Treat of the basic everyday safety tips, such as not getting into cars or talking to strangers, watching both ways before crossing streets and crossing when the lights tell you to. This will help make them safer when out on Halloween.

Driver Tips

-Slow down in residential neighborhoods and school zones. Remember that popular trick-or-treating hours are 5:30 to 9:30 p.m.

-Be especially alert and take extra time to look for kids at intersections, on medians and on curbs. Children are excited on Halloween and may move in unpredictable ways.

-Slowly and carefully enter and exit driveways and alleys.

-Reduce any distractions inside your car, such as talking on the phone or eating, so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings.

REMSA is a private, not-for-profit emergency medical services system serving northern Nevada. REMSA’s state-of-the-art 9-1-1 dispatch communications center is fully accredited, as are all emergency medical transport services of the company. REMSA provides quality patient care with no taxpayer support or other subsidies.

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