Teach your children pedestrian safety when trick-or-treating

Each year, almost 2,000 children in Canada are injured in pedestrian-related incidents. This Halloween, Safe Kids Canada and FedEx Express Canada are reminding parents and drivers to make safety a priority and obey the rules of the road, not just while the children are trick-or-treating, but every day of the year.

“Keeping kids safe during Halloween and throughout the year involves a commitment from parents and drivers,” said Pamela Fuselli, executive director, Safe Kids Canada. “An important first step is to teach your kids how to be safe pedestrians. Practice the safety rules with them and set a good example by reinforcing safe behaviour year round. Drivers also play a role, by slowing down on the roads and driving the speed limit.”

To help parents and children prepare for Halloween, Safe Kids Canada recommends:

• Children under the age of nine should be accompanied by an adult or responsible older child, since they lack the developmental skills to cross the street on their own.

• Teach your child to stop at the curb, look left, right and left again, and to listen for oncoming traffic.

• Select costumes with bright colours to increase your child’s visibility and choose face paint instead of masks.

• Always cross at crosswalks, street corners or intersections. It’s unsafe to cross between parked cars or other obstacles.

• Stay on the sidewalk when walking from house to house and if there is no sidewalk, walk beside the road, facing traffic so drivers can see you.

To help drivers prepare for Halloween, Safe Kids Canada recommends:

• Drive slowly in residential areas where children are more likely to be trick-or-treating.

• Watch out for kids, many of whom will be wearing costumes that limit their vision.

• Reduce distractions, such as cell phones or loud music, and stay alert.

• Reduce your speed during peak trick-or-treating hours.

For more on Halloween safety or the year-round Walk this Way program, visit www.safekidscanada.ca or call 1-888-SAFE-TIP (723-3847).