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MCFRS News Release


For Immediate Release:
October 30, 2013

Release ID: 13-043
Contact: Scott Graham, Public Information Office
(240) 876-1260 Phone
(240) 777-2442 Media Line
Follow us @MCFirePIO

It’s Good to be Seen – Especially on Halloween

Halloween is the Most Dangerous Night of the Year for Young Pedestrians

Montgomery County, MD - - With Halloween quickly approaching, the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service and Safe Kids Montgomery would like to offer some important tips for a safe Halloween. “Recent research shows that on Halloween, children are at greater risk of being fatally injured by a motor vehicle than any other day of the year,” said Fire Chief Steven Lohr. “While we always encourage responsible driving, we’re asking drivers to be especially vigilant this Halloween. Please eliminate all distractions, expect the unexpected, and do not exceed posted speed limits, especially in residential communities. Despite the fun and excitement, it’s a potentially dangerous night with so many kids on our streets. Without adequate adult supervision, trick or treaters often forget important pedestrian safety rules. Hence, safe driving behaviors go a long way toward averting a potential tragedy.”

Plan a safe route.
 
1. Where are trick or treaters most likely to be struck by a car? When crossing in the middle of the block. Accompany children and remind them to stop at all street corners, cross only at intersections and crosswalks. Teach them to look
2. Stay in familiar neighborhoods and have a parent or responsible adult accompany trick or treaters. Visit only those houses where the lights are on. Accept treats only in the doorway and NEVER go inside a house or apartment.
3. Secure emergency identification (name, address, phone number) discreetly within Halloween attire or on a bracelet.
4. Safety in numbers. If they're old enough to trick-or-treat without an adult, designate a route before the kids go trick or treating, tell your kids to stay in a group, avoid taking short cuts through backyards and alleys and ask them to check in regularly.
5. Ensure trick-or-treaters stay away from open flames or jack-o-lanterns with candles burning.
6. Children should avoid busy streets, always use sidewalks, and follow all traffic rules and regulations. Motorists shoulddrive slowly and be alert to small children crossing streets. Many accidents occur when motorists are backing vehicles out
 
Be a good neighbor.
 
1. Keep your porch lights on and eliminate tripping hazards on your porch and walkway. Remove outdoor safety hazards such as toys, bicycles, garden hoses and lawn ornaments. Make sure the driveway and steps are cleared of leaves, which can be a slipping and falling hazard. Make sure that the driveway and walks are well lit for incoming trick-or-treaters. Replace burned-out or broken light bulbs.
2. Pets get frightened or lost on Halloween. Confine your pets for their safety and for that of trick or treaters. Also keep candy, which can be toxic, away from pets.
 
Be Safe - Be Seen.
 
1. Don't assume the right-of-way. Motorists may have trouble seeing trick-or-treaters in the dark. Just because one car stops doesn't mean others will.
2. Encourage kids to follow all the rules for pedestrian safety. That includes obeying all traffic laws, looking both ways before crossing, using crosswalks, crossing at intersections and corners and never darting between parked cars.
 
All Dressed Up.
 
1. Plan costumes that are bright and have reflective qualities. Consider adding reflective tape or decals to costumes and trick or treat bags. Be sure kids carry a flashlight and use glow sticks for extra visibility.
2. When shopping for costumes, wigs and accessories purchase only those with a label indicating they are flame resistant.
3. Have an adult inspect treats BEFORE eating anything. Do not eat any unwrapped, partially wrapped, or homemade-looking treats.
4. Shorter IS safer. Make sure that shoes fit well and that costumes are short enough to prevent tripping, entanglement or contact with an open flame.
5. Because masks can limit or block eyesight, consider non-toxic makeup as a safer alternative.
6. If a sword, cane or stick is part of your child's costume, make sure it is not sharp or too long. A child may be easily hurt by these accessories if they trip or fall.
 
Decorate Safely.
 
1. Illuminate your jack-o-lanterns with flashlights or battery-operated candles instead of real ones. You won't have the worries of an open flame coming in contact with anything . . .or anyone.
2. If you do use candles, keep them well away from where trick or treaters will be walking or standing. Review with your children the principle of stop, drop and roll should their clothing catch fire.
 
Lastly, teach children how to call 9-1-1 if they have an emergency or become lost.

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