As Halloween approaches and people buy or construct costumes, AAA East Central is reminding parents and caregivers about the importance of choosing safe costumes. Safe Kids Worldwide reports that on average, children are more than twice as likely to be struck by a vehicle and fatally injured on Halloween than on any other night of the year.
“Halloween festivities bring excitement but there is still the potential for dangerous situations to occur,” said Lynda Lambert, safety advisor and media spokesperson, AAA East Central. “If parents will choose costumes with safety in mind, they can help ensure their trick-or-treaters are protected and easier to see at night.”
To help parents select the safest costumes, AAA offers these tips:
- Choose bright colors. Purchase or make costumes that are vibrantly colored and clearly visible to motorists.
- Use reflective tape. For greater visibility during dusk and darkness, decorate or trim costumes and treat bags with reflective tape that will glow in the beam of a car's headlights. Bags or sacks also should be brightly colored or decorated with reflective tape.
- Carry a flashlight. Place it face down in the treats bucket to free up one hand. Never shine flashlights into the eyes of oncoming drivers. Remember glow sticks, bracelets and necklaces can also help to make a child more visible.
- Make sure costumes fit properly. To guard against trips and falls, costumes should fit well and not drag the ground.
- Think about footwear. Children should wear well-fitting, sturdy shoes. High heels are not a good idea.
- Nothing should impair vision. If a child wears a mask, make sure it fits securely, provides adequate ventilation, and has holes large enough to allow full vision.
- Look for flame-resistant fabrics. When purchasing costumes, masks, beards, and wigs, look for fabrics like nylon or polyester; or look for the label "Flame Resistant." Flame-resistant fabrics will resist burning and should extinguish quickly. To reduce the risk of contact with candles and other fire sources, avoid costumes made with flimsy materials and outfits with big, baggy sleeves, large capes, or billowing skirts.
AAA East Central is a not-for-profit association with 69 local offices in Kentucky, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia serving 2.7 million members. News releases are available at news.eastcentral.aaa.com. Follow AAA East Central on Twitter and Facebook.