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boy and girl dressed as superheros

Health officials: Be mindful of safety, stay alert on Halloween

As Halloween approaches, the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment asks parents to be mindful of safety during the celebration and asks drivers to be alert while on the road Oct. 31.

According to Safe Kids Worldwide, children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween than on any other day of the year.

Community health experts suggest top safety tips for kids:

  • Make sure you can be seen by drivers. Decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers. Masks can obstruct your vision, so choose non-toxic face paint and make-up whenever possible. Carry glow sticks or flashlights so you can see better, as well as be seen by drivers.
  • 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.
  • Put down your phone and keep your head up when you walk across the street.
  • Walk on sidewalks and paths. If no sidewalk exists, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible.
  • Slow down and stay alert. Watch out for cars turning or back up and don’t dart into streets or cross in between parked cars.

Health officials also recommend safety tips for drivers:

  • Slow down in residential neighborhoods. Remember that popular trick-or-treating hours are between 5:30 and 9:30 p.m.
  • Be alert and take extra time to look for kids at intersections, on medians and on curbs. Reduce distractions inside your car, such as texting and talking on the phone. Concentrate on the road and your surroundings.

More information on Halloween safety, including a tip sheet, is available at safekids.org.