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Avoiding pedestrian accidents on Halloween

Halloween costumes are already in the stores and available online. Likely, your kids have already been thinking about how they will dress up to go trick-or-treating.

Whether your children want to dress as Wonder Woman, someone from Beauty and the Beast or a Game of Thrones character, it's important to keep their safety in mind if they're going to be walking through the neighborhood in their costumes. The rate of vehicle/pedestrian accidents involving kids on Halloween is double that of any other day.

Whether you're going to be along for the trick-or-treating adventure, your kids will be supervised by other parents or they're old enough to go with a group of friends, it's essential that they are visible to drivers. Put reflective tape or stickers on their costumes, bags and shoes. Light sabers and lighted wands can provide extra visibility. If that doesn't mesh with their costume, a good old-fashioned flashlight or glow stick can be a lifesaver. Avoid dark costumes that can make kids difficult to see.

If your child is wearing a mask, make sure that it doesn't obstruct his or her vision. Face paint or make-up are generally a safer option than a mask.

Make sure that your child's costume and footwear fit properly. If a costume is too long or their shoes are too big, a child can easily trip and fall, perhaps into traffic.

Of course, drivers need to be extra cautious during prime trick-or-treating hours on Halloween night -- particularly once the sun sets. However, we can't rely on all drivers to take the necessary precautions. Halloween is also a big party night for adults, so the chances of encountering a drunk driver are higher than usual.

If you or your child is injured by a driver while trick-or-treating, it's wise to seek guidance from an experienced New Jersey attorney to find out what your legal options are.

Source: Safe Kids Worldwide, "Halloween Safety," accessed Sep. 19, 2017

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