SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Only one-third of parents talk to their children each year about Halloween safety, according to a study from Safe Kids Savannah.
The poll surveyed 935 parents who have children ages 12 and younger to assess their knowledge, attitudes and behaviors related to Halloween safety.
The study showed that 12 percent of children ages 5 or younger are permitted to trick-or-treat alone.
Safe Kids Savannah recommends that no child younger 5 be unsupervised while trick or treating.
"It is alarming to hear that children ages five years and younger are trick-or-treating without adult supervision," said Safe Kids Savannah Coordinator, Alison Gramza, in a statement. "If they are old enough and mature enough to trick-or-treat without an adult, parents should make sure children go out in groups and stick to a predetermined route with good lighting."
Nearly half or 40 percent of parents allow their child to use one or more unsafe item on Halloween such as a mask, loosing fitting clothing, and/or a sharp object as part of their costumes, according to the study.
Safe Kids Savannah said such items are preventable hazards that cancontribute to falls, burns or pedestrian injuries.
On average, twice as many child pedestrians are killed while walking on Halloween compared to other days of the year, according to the organization. The organization recommends parents to prepare children to behave safely and for drivers to take extra precautions.
Safe Kids Savannah urges parents to repeatedly talk to their children every year about being safe on Halloween.
Safe Kids Savannah is teaming up with Walk This Way program sponsor FedEx to provide kids with reflective materials to promote visibility, including zipper tags that can be attached to costumes and trick-or-treat bags, and safety information to children, parents, and drivers. The Halloween study was funded by FedEx.
Trick-or-treating safety tips from Safe Kids Savannah and FedEx:
- Children under 12 should trick-or-treat and cross streets with an adult.
- Always walk on sidewalks or paths. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible.
- Cross the street at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks.
- Decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers and, choose light colored costumes that fit properly and avoid carrying sticks, swords, or other sharp objects.
- Check treats for signs of tampering before children are allowed to eat them. Candy should be thrown away if the wrapper is faded, torn, or unwrapped.
Safety tips for drivers from Safe Kids Savannah and FedEx:
- Slow down and be especially alert in residential neighborhoods. Children are excited on Halloween and may move in unpredictable ways.
- Anticipate heavy pedestrian traffic and turn your headlights on early in the day so you can spot children from greater distances.
- Remember that costumes can limit children's visibility and they may not be able to see your vehicle.
- Reduce any distractions inside the car so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings.