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Halloween is all about candy and costumes but it can also pose dangers for kids and families. Take a moment to consider basic safety precautions to make sure that trick-or-treating is fun and safe.

Be safe and be seen: Kids are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween than on any other day of the year. So it is important to make it easier for drivers to see trick-or-treaters who are out and about.

“Halloween is a time when we all need to remember the large number of pedestrians present and take extra care to avoid accidents,” said A.J. Kirk, MD, an emergency room physician at JPS Health Network. “Auto-pedestrian accidents can be avoided with adequate lighting, parents carefully watching their children (within arms reach), extra vigilance when driving and, as always, avoiding alcohol when driving or being out on the streets.”

Families: Decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers. Bring along flashlights and/or glow sticks. Look both ways before crossing the street. Walk on sidewalks and cross at street corners and in crosswalks. Walk, don’t run, from house to house. Never cut across yards or dart between parked cars.

Motorists: Turn on headlights at dusk and be especially alert for kids from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., popular trick-or-treating hours. Slow down and watch for children, particularly at curbs, intersections and medians. Enter and exit driveways and alleys slowly and carefully.

Here are some more Halloween safety tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the US Food and Drug Administration and the American Academy of Pediatrics. (Click here to read tips in Spanish.)

  • Walk in groups or with a trusted adult. Avoid trick-or-treating alone.
  • Wear well-fitting masks, costumes, and shoes so you can see well and don’t trip or fall. Swords, knives, canes or wands and other costume accessories should be short, soft, and flexible. Wear flame-resistant costumes and wigs.
  • Wait until you get home to eat treats. Adults should check candy and toys for choking hazards and throw away any spoiled, unwrapped or suspicious items. Eat only factory wrapped candy; don’t eat handmade treats made by people you don’t know.
  • Talk to children ahead of time about how many pieces of candy they can eat Halloween night. Set a limit and let them choose which ones they want to eat now and which to save for later, share or give away.
  • Only visit well-lit houses. Never enter a stranger’s home.
  • Young children should never carve pumpkins. Instead, draw faces with markers or decorate them with crafts.
  • Keep lit candles, jack-o-lanterns or luminaries away from doorsteps, walkways and curtains and out of the reach of pets and small children.

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