CLEVELAND -- Safe Kids Greater Cleveland is joining Safe Kids Worldwide in sharing a new research report on Halloween safety.
Did you know, only one-third (35%) of parents discuss Halloween safety with their children every year?
More than one in nine (12%) parents report that their child age 5 years or younger is permitted to trick-or-treat without adult supervision.
Only one in three (31%) parents express fears about child pedestrian injuries on Halloween night, despite the excessive risk of walking on or near streets in the dark.
This is a first-of-its kind study on Halloween-safety, which was commissioned by Safe Kids USA and conducted by Harris Interactive.
A poll of 935 parents with children ages 12 and younger was conducted to assess their knowledge, attitudes and behaviors related to Halloween safety.
On average, twice as many child pedestrians are killed while walking on Halloween compared to other days of the year. On this potentially dangerous night of the year for young trick-or-treaters, Safe Kids Greater Cleveland strongly recommends that parents prepare children to behave safely and for drivers to take extra precautions.
While most of the parent participants in the study have talked to their children about Halloween safety at some point, many have not made it an annual conversation.
UH Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital and Safe Kids Greater Cleveland urge parents to engage in repeated discussions with each child, every year to reinforce safety messages and safe behaviors because of the risks they face on Halloween.
According to the study, 40 percent of parents allow their child to use one or more unsafe item on Halloween such as a mask, loosing fitting clothing, and / or a sharp object - any of which could contribute to falls, burns or pedestrian injuries.
These are preventable hazards that could be avoided by following basic safety rules. Another key finding of this report shows twelve percent of children five years of age or younger are permitted to trick-or-treat alone. Not only should these young children be accompanied by an adult, but experts also recommend that no child under 12 years of age spend Halloween night navigating the streets unsupervised.
This recommendation is made to protect children who often lack the maturity and cognitive ability to make appropriate decisions to accurately judge vehicle speeds and distance.
Children under 12 should trick-or-treat and cross streets with an adult. Always walk on sidewalks or paths. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible. Cross the street at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks.
Decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers and, choose light colored costumes that fit properly and avoid carrying sticks, swords, or other sharp objects.
Check treats for signs of tampering before children are allowed to eat them. Candy should be thrown away if the wrapper is faded or torn, or the item is unwrapped.
What Drivers Need to Know: Slow down and be especially alert in residential neighborhoods. Children are excited on Halloween and may move in unpredictable ways. Anticipate heavy pedestrian traffic and turn your headlights on early in the day so you can spot children from greater distances.
Remember that costumes can limit children's visibility and they may not be able to see your vehicle. Reduce any distractions inside your car so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings.