Stew Lilker’s

Columbia County Observer

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Florida News

It's Halloween: Expert Tips to Keep Kids Safe

TALLAHASEE, FL– Ghosts, goblins, and monsters will be walking Florida neighborhoods in search of candy. While Halloween is a time for fun and treats, it's also a night full of dangerous situations. Dawne Gardner, injury prevention coordinator at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, says a child is four times more likely to be hit and killed by a car on "beggar's night" than any other time.

"Kids are so excited," says Gardner. "They're darting across the street, and really not paying attention and there are more cars out, and more kids out, and it's dark and costumes are dark, so we definitely see an increased number of pedestrian injuries, pedestrian deaths."

Gardner says children should be reminded of the rules of crossing the street and to only travel in familiar areas. She says those under the age of 12 should trick-or-treat with an adult. Gardner says it's also a good idea to make sure kids are visible to drivers by having them carry a flashlight or putting reflective tape on their costume.

When it comes to the costume, Gardner says there are some things to keep in mind, including proper fit.

"Costumes that are too big cause a trip hazard," she says. "We would prefer make-up instead of masks just because it can cover a child's eyes, and then also making sure the costumes are non-flammable so if they happen to brush up against maybe a jack-o-lantern, they don't catch fire."

Gardner says kids need to eat before they head out so they don't binge on candy before it can be checked by an adult at home. Her advice is for parents to carry their own bag of candy with them while trick-or-treating.

"A candy that you know what it is, you know it's age-appropriate, and that way if they get hungry on the way you can feed them from that bag of candy you know and that gives you time to then go home and check the candy that they have," she says.

With Halloween falling on a weekend, Gardner says it's especially important this year to talk to children about safety.

"This year's supposed to be nice, kids are eager, it's Friday, you know there's no school on Saturday, so they will be out, they will be excited, they'll be less likely to follow some of the rules if we're not reminding them," says Gardner. 

Photos/graphics and links added by the Observer | Cartoon: Paleo: Alternatives to Halloween Candy

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