Lighten Up This Halloween
About two weeks ago, a 5-year-old boy named Liam ran out of his house around dusk to show off his Halloween costume to all the neighborhood kids.
“Look at me,” Liam yelled with pride.
But it wasn’t as easy as it sounded. You see, Liam was dressed as the Grim Reaper, a classic Halloween costume, and this kid knew what he was doing. An ominous black robe covered his entire body. His head was surrounded by a dark hood and he was even wearing spooky face paint, which hid everything but his wire-rimmed glasses and the whites of his eyes.
He ran wildly up and down the sidewalk, darting across the street until he showed every kid on the block. His mind was solely in the moment and it was almost impossible to look at this adorable five-year-old and see anything but the joy and fun that comes with Halloween every year.
The only problem was it was almost impossible to see Liam as well.
It’s a problem that creeps up on us every Halloween. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, twice as many children are hit and killed walking on Halloween than any other day of the year.
It’s also a problem that’s easy to fix, which is why Safe Kids and FedEx are teaming up this Halloween. This year, we want every child to be wearing something reflective or bright so they will be seen by drivers on Halloween. There are lots of ways to make it happen. Kids can carry a flashlight or glow stick, wear light-colored costumes or attach reflective wristbands or tape to their outfit.
When Liam’s mom recognized that, while this costume was cute, it could also be unsafe, she calmly called him over and asked, “How cool would it be if the Grim Reaper always had a glow stick hanging around each wrist?”
There’s not a five-year-old around who doesn’t love glow sticks so Liam immediately agreed. He then ran up and down the street so he could tell all the neighborhood kids.
Here are a few more tips to help keep our little monsters safe this Halloween.
Talk to your kids about how to walk safely. Remind children to watch out for cars and other drivers and cross streets safely by looking left, right, and left again. Making eye contact with drivers before crossing the street is also important as drivers can sometimes be distracted. I know Liam’s mom is working with him on this one as we speak.
Use reflectors with costumes. Creativity with costumes is one of the best parts of Halloween so try to find creative ways to work in some reflective materials or reflective tape to make it easier for drivers to spot kids at night.
Drive extra carefully. With more children out and about on Halloween night than any other night, drivers should take extra care when on the road. Children are often excited on Halloween and may dart between cars. Putting headlights on early and slowing down in residential neighborhoods is a little thing that can make a big difference.
By following these simple steps, we can ensure that Halloween is scary for all the right reasons. And if you need a little more inspiration, please check out our latest video or visit Safekids.org for more tips.