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How can parents help keep kids safe on Halloween and every day

Nearly 2,400 Canadian children are injured every year by vehicles as they are walking. Obviously, all of these accidents don't occur on Halloween, but this holiday can be a particularly dangerous one for children.

Suggestions for your little trick-or-treaters include some of the following:

  • Choose costumes that are bright or put reflective tape or other material on the costume to increase their visibility.
  • Instead of a mask that can slip and/or inhibit your child's ability to see, use face paint. As with costumes, bright or reflective paint is preferable.
  • If your child is young (under 9 years old), go trick-or-treating with him or her or have an older child who is responsible accompanying the child. Obviously, children's maturity and level of responsibility should be considered when making the decision to let them go trick-or-treating unsupervised.

In addition to these holiday specific tips, there are some safety precautions that you should teach your child to follow at all times -- not just on Halloween:

  • Walk on the sidewalk or at the edge of the road, facing traffic, if there is no sidewalk.
  • Only cross the street at a crosswalk, intersection or corner.
  • Never step in front of or behind a parked car.
  • Always look in both directions and listen for traffic before stepping off a curb into the street.

It only takes a second for a child to dart out into traffic or into the path of someone pulling out of a driveway or parking spot. Even a slow-moving vehicle can seriously injure a child, or worse.

If your child is injured by a driver, it's essential to ensure that a thorough investigation is conducted. Regardless of whether or not the driver faces criminal charges, you may be able to hold him or her liable for the accident. This can help you pay for medical expenses, physical therapy and cover other damages. An Ontario lawyer can advise you on your legal options.

Source: Parachute, "Drive like it’s Halloween every night," accessed Oct. 28, 2015

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