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Some tips for keeping kids safe during trick-or-treating

In just a few days, hordes of costumed children will hit the streets and sidewalks throughout the state of New Jersey in search of both candy and a bit of adventure. While the prospect of trick-or-treating with family and friends sounds like a recipe for fun, it can also prove to be a recipe for disaster if these pint-sized pedestrians are more focused on sweets than safety.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Halloween is actually the third deadliest day of the year for pedestrian accidents after December 23 and January 1. Furthermore, the agency has determined that an average of 30 pedestrians die on Halloween every year, and that there were an astounding 715 pedestrian fatalities on this day between 1978 and 2002.

These figures, say safety experts, only serve to underscore just how important it is for children to have adults with them at all times while trick-or-treating.

"Especially for little kids, someone needs to be paying attention to them," said the executive director of one pedestrian safety advocacy group. "Make sure they're not so excited they don't just run out across the street."

What then are some other simple steps that parents can take to help make this Halloween happy and safe for their kids?

According to AAA, parents may want to consider the following:

  • Parents should consider going trick-or-treating with a group of kids rather than just by themselves, as motorists have an easier time seeing large groups of people
  • Parents should consider accompanying their kids on trick-or-treating outings until they reach the age of 12 
  • Parents should remind their kids of the importance of always crossing at the crosswalk and looking both ways before crossing the street
  • Parents should make sure the costumes that their children are wearing are safe, meaning they have reflective materials present, aren't too long to create a tripping hazard and don't obstruct their vision

Those who have been injured in pedestrian accidents caused by negligent drivers or car accidents should understand that they can seek the justice they deserve and that they should strongly consider speaking with an experienced attorney.

Source: AOL Autos, "Halloween is one of the deadliest days for pedestrians," Pete Bigelow, Oct. 18, 2013

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