PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Halloween is an exciting night for kids and kids at heart — but celebration brings up a lot of safety concerns.
Safe Kids Worldwide said children are twice as likely to be hit by cars while walking on Halloween than any other day of the year.
The Portland area has seen its share of fatal Halloween night crashes. In 2014, a driver high on methamphetamine killed a 7-year-old girl while she was trick-or-treating and in 2015, 21-year-old Matthew Freeman was drinking and driving when he hit and killed another drunk man who stumbled into the street.
It’s important to make sure little ones can see when they’re out walking. Instead of masks that block their peripheral vision, opt for facepaint instead. Also have kids carry glowsticks or something that lights up so they are visible, even if their costume has dark colors.
Trick-or-treaters should also stay on the sidewalks and cross at well-lit, marked crossings but if there are none, walk facing traffic and as far to the side as possible.
Firefighters say it’s OK to be ghoulish — but don’t be foolish.
Safety tips from the Clackamas County Fire Department:
- Stay visible – bring flashlights, glow sticks and reflective goodie bags, and add reflective tape to costumes.
- Stay on the sidewalk and off the road when going house to house. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic and as far to the side as possible.
- Cross at street corners using traffic signals or use well-lit, marked crosswalks and never cross the road between parked cars.
- Don’t assume the right-of-way. Motorists may have trouble seeing trick-or-treaters.
- Children under 12 should trick-or-treat with and cross streets with an adult.
The Oregon Humane Society also gave these tips for people with pets:
- Halloween candy is for people, not pets
- Reduce stress by keeping pets in a room away from the front door
- Don’t forget pet IDs
- Avoid dressing up your pets in costume unless you know they love it
- Cats, especially black ones, should be kept inside all night long due to poor visibility and increased automobile traffic.
- Keep decorations off the floor so your dog or cat won’t eat them or get tangled in them