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[UPDATE] Halloween Safety Tips

By: TPD Release, Clarian Health Release, AAA Release
By: TPD Release, Clarian Health Release, AAA Release

Tallahassee, Florida --

With Halloween taking place on Sunday, the Tallahassee Police Department is issuing its annual "Halloween Safety Tips", along with some additional information to help keep Trick-or-Treaters as safe as
possible.

Officers will be conducting their normal patrols throughout residential
neighborhoods.

The following are some Halloween Safety tips offered by TPD's Community Relations Unit:

- Never allow your children to Trick-or-Treat alone. It is always
better to have an adult accompany a group of children.

- The safest time to Trick-or-Treat is before dark or at dusk.

- Make sure costumes will not cause children to trip. Wear
comfortable shoes.

- Make sure costumes are fire retardant.

- Use make-up instead of a mask. If a mask is used, remove it
while walking due to restricted visibility.

- Use light colored clothing or reflective material on costumes.

- Limit Trick-or-Treating to your own neighborhood or other areas
you know well.

- Never let your children go into another person's house for any
reason, especially those you don't know.

- Only stop at houses that have outside lights on. When outside
lights are off, it's an indicator that the occupants don't want to be
disturbed.

- Advise children not to eat any candy or goodies they receive
until they return home. Parents should inspect all candy before it's
eaten! Only eat unopened treats that are in the original wrapper.

- Carry a flashlight or other light source and be very careful of
moving vehicles.

- Since Halloween falls on Sunday, some Neighborhood Associations
have planned Halloween activities on Saturday. To be sure, check with
your local association for more information.

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MOTORISTS ARE URGED TO BE ESPECIALLY CAREFUL WHEN TRAVELING HALLOWEEN NIGHT. TRAVEL SLOWER THAN THE POSTED SPEED LIMIT AND WATCH FOR ANY CHILDREN THAT MAY DART ACROSS YOUR PATH UNEXPECTEDLY.

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Halloween is known for scary costumes, houses and activities, but when it comes to trick-or-treating, Riley Hospital for Children wants to make sure your little ghosts and goblins stay safe this holiday.

Riley Hospital doctors say falls are the most common type of Halloween youth-related injury. As a result, they advise children to avoid long or baggy costumes which might cause them to trip or fall. Equally important, children should stick to sidewalks and cross over streets at intersections to avoid darting around cars. According to Safe Kids USA, twice as many children are killed while walking on Halloween than any other day of the year. Just because a child can see a car, doesn’t mean the driver can see them. Drivers are advised to slow down and keep their eyes open for darting children.

While some safety tips are more common sense, doctors encourage parents to be on the lookout for the unexpected.

“A lot of people don’t realize how flammable some children’s costumes can be,” said Robert Collins, M.D., medical director of Emergency Services at Riley Hospital. “Every year, I care for children whose costumes catch fire from lit jack-o’-lanterns. Costumes and other accessories should be made of flame-resistant materials, such as nylon or polyester, and jack-o-lanterns need to be kept in places where children are not likely to bump into them.”

Other ways to keep trick-or-treaters safe this holiday include:

- Costumes should be easily seen; look for bright colors or add reflective tape/material.

- Children should eat dinner or a snack before trick-or-treating so they won’t get tempted to munch on candy throughout the evening.

- Parents should inspect all candy and never let children eat unwrapped candy.

- Parents whose children suffer from peanut allergies should ensure candy does not contain even trace amounts of peanut and they should also carry an epinephrine auto-injector, such as an EpiPen.

- Trick or treat in the early evening hours and only approach houses that have the porch light on.

- Do not cut across lawns to get to other houses.

- Parents should accompany all children who are trick-or-treating.

- Do not enter houses of people you do not know.

- Neighborhoods should consider holding Halloween parties or get-togethers for children and teens to keep them in a safer environment.

- Pin a slip of paper with your child's name, address and phone number inside a pocket in case they get separated from the group.

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Tampa, Fla., (Oct. 27, 2010) – Halloween is one of the most festive holidays for children and adults alike. However, statistics show children are at an increased risk during typical trick-or-treat hours on Halloween evening. The number of deaths among children five to 14 is four times higher on Halloween night between the hours of 4 p.m. and 10 p.m. when compared to the same time period during all other evenings of the year. Motorists should be extra cautious while driving, especially in residential areas and parents must diligently discuss the safe pedestrian rules and practices before Halloween.

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety’s Traffic Safety Culture Index shows one in four drivers (25%) stated they drove 15 mph over the speed limit on a residential street within the past 30 days. One in five admitted they did so more than once (20%), and very few (4%) report doing this fairly often or regularly.

“For pedestrians, the risk of being in a fatal crash almost doubles if they are hit by a car going 30 mph compared to a car going 25 mph,” said Leticia Messam, AAA Traffic Safety Manager. “Though it seems insignificant, just a difference of 5 mph can be the difference between life and death.”

AAA recommends the following tips for parents:

- Accompany young trick-or-treaters at least until they can safely and confidently navigate the streets on their own.

- Ensure your child’s Halloween costume is highly visible with retro-reflective material if trick-or-treating past dusk.

- Review trick-or-treating safety precautions, including pedestrian and traffic safety rules.

- Plan and discuss the route your trick-or-treaters will follow. Teach children to stop only at well-lit houses and to never enter a stranger's home or garage.

- Avoid face masks. Instead, have children wear disguises that don't obstruct vision or use nontoxic face paint.

- Watch the length of costumes to help avoid tripping.

- Ensure any props are flexible and blunt-tipped to avoid injury.

- Parents and trick-or-treaters should cross streets only at the corner, and never mid-block or between parked cars.

- Make eye contact with motorists and wait for them to make a complete stop before stepping into the roadway.

AAA recommends the following tips for motorists:

- If possible, avoid cutting through residential areas where trick-or-treaters are likely to be present.

- Obey all traffic signs and signals. The risk of killing a pedestrian increases with minimal speed increases.

- Watch for children walking on roadways, medians and curbs. In dark costumes, they'll be harder to see at night.

- If you must travel through residential areas, scan far ahead, watch for children and cautiously monitor their actions.

- Turn on your headlights to make yourself more visible - even in the daylight.

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TPD Release

Drivers Beware: Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving

As party-going ghosts and goblins celebrate Halloween this weekend, the Tallahassee Police Department reminds everyone to keep the party off the road.

Nighttime is an especially dangerous time to be on the road, but Halloween night is often one of the deadliest nights of the year for impaired drivers. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2008, 58 percent of all highway fatalities across the nation on Halloween night (6 p.m. Oct. 31 to 5:59 a.m. Nov. 1) involved a driver or a motorcycle rider with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher, which is illegal in every state.

The Tallahassee Police Department will participate in the National Impaired Driver Prevention Campaign. Additional officers will be patrolling throughout the weekend in an effort to keep the public safe from drunk drivers. If you plan to drink, don't drive! Here are a few tips to keep you safe this Halloween:

- Plan a safe way home before the festivities begin.

- Before drinking, designate a sober driver.

- If you're impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation.

-If you happen to see a drunk driver on the road, don't hesitate to contact law enforcement.

- And remember, Friends Don't Let Friends Drive Drunk. If you know someone who is about to drive or ride while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely.


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