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Halloween Danger Has Nothing to Do With Ghosts

Photograph by Twenty20

Children are twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween than on any other day of the year, according to Safe Kids Worldwide.

The trick-or-treating holiday is extra deadly due to drunk drivers and people out on foot. What a shame.

Car crashes are the No. 1 cause of death to our young and, sadly, they are mostly preventable.

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In the five years from 2007 to 2011, 23 percent of pedestrian fatalities on Halloween night involved a drunk driver, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

"This is a night we have to be more mindful of safety and protecting our kids—from constant supervision to planning your route to taking your cellphones and flashlights," said Beverly Losman, program manager of injury prevention at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta and director of Safe Kids Georgia. "It's also important to be safety-conscious with costumes—reflective tape costs pennies at a hardware store."

Here are tips on trying to keep your kids safe on Halloween from Safe Kids.Org:

Walk safely

  • Cross the street at corners using traffic signals and crosswalks.
  • Look left, right and left again when crossing. Keep looking as you cross.
  • Put electronic devices down and keep heads up and walk, don't run, across the street.
  • Teach children to make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them.
  • Always walk on sidewalks or paths. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible. Children should walk on direct routes with the fewest street crossings.
  • Watch for cars that are turning or backing up. Teach children to never dart out into the street or cross between parked cars.

Trick-or-treat with an adult

  • Children under the age of 12 should not be alone at night without adult supervision. If kids are mature enough to be out without supervision, they should stick to familiar areas that are well lit and trick-or-treat in groups.

Keep costumes both creative and safe

  • Decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers and, if possible, choose light colors.
  • Choose face paint and makeup whenever possible instead of masks, which can obstruct a child's vision.
  • Have kids carry glow sticks or flashlights to help them see and be seen by drivers.
  • When selecting a costume, make sure it is the right size to prevent trips and falls.

Drive extra safely on Halloween

  • Slow down and be especially alert in residential neighborhoods. Children are excited on Halloween and may move in unpredictable ways.
  • Take extra time to look for kids at intersections, on medians and on curbs.
  • Enter and exit driveways and alleys slowly and carefully.
  • Eliminate any distractions inside your car so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings.
  • Drive slowly, anticipate heavy pedestrian traffic and turn your headlights on earlier in the day to spot children from greater distances.
  • Popular trick-or-treating hours are 5:30 to 9:30 p.m., so be especially alert for kids during those hours.

RELATED: Mom Outraged These Costumes Are Even a Thing

We can't cancel Halloween and trick-or-treating, but we can be cautious. All of us, from drivers to kids out gathering candy, need to be on high alert.

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