Pedestrian and Driver Safety Tips for a Safe Halloween from The Children’s Hospital At Dartmouth-Hitchcock

Photo of young girl waiting to cross a street.

More children are injured by cars on Halloween than any other night of the year. With a few tips, children can stay safe while out trick or treating. Safe Kids New Hampshire, a program of the Children's Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock (CHaD) urge parents to prepare their children to walk safely, and remind drivers to be particularly alert this Halloween.

"On Halloween, more children are on the street after dark than normal, and they are so excited that they may run out into the street without thinking," says Jim Esdon, Safe Kids New Hampshire. "Drivers need to take extra care and slow down on neighborhood roads. And, of course, it's very important that drivers put down mobile devices to avoid distraction. We’re all pedestrians.”

Safe Kids recommend these tips to keep kids safe on Halloween.

Top safety tips for kids:

  • Protect yourself from COVID-19 exposure. Cloth masks – covering the nose and mouth – should be worn by children over the age of two, all adults with them and anyone handing out candy.
  • Costumes can be both creative and safe. The most important thing is to make sure you can be seen by drivers. Decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers and, if possible, choose light colors. Halloween masks can obstruct your vision, so choose non-toxic face paint and make-up whenever possible. Carry glow sticks or flashlights so you can see better, as well as be seen by drivers.
  • Cross the street safely at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks. Look left, right and left again when crossing and keep looking as you cross.
  • Think about the walk, not the talk. Stay off the phone!
  • Walk on sidewalks or paths. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible.
  • Slow down and stay alert - Watch out for cars that are turning or backing up and don't dart out into the street or cross in between parked cars.
  • Join children 12 and under for trick or treating fun

Top safety tips for drivers:

  • Slow down in residential neighborhoods. Remember that popular trick-or-treating hours are from 5:30 to 9:30 pm.
  • Be especially alert and take extra time to look for children at intersections, on medians and on curbs. Children are excited on Halloween and may move in unpredictable ways.
  • Reduce any distractions inside your car, such as talking on the phone or eating, so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings.

"Parents need to talk to their children about watching out for cars while trick-or-treating," says Esdon, "and make sure that their costume has something reflective on it so cars can see them. You could even have children put on a glow stick necklace or a reflective slap bracelet."

For more tips on how to help kids become safer pedestrians on Halloween, and throughout the year, visit www.safekids.org.

About Safe Kids New Hampshire, Safe Kids New Hampshire works to prevent unintentional childhood injury, the number one cause of death for children in the United States. Its members include Organizations and institutions throughout New Hampshire. Safe Kids New Hampshire is a member of Safe Kids Worldwide, a global network of organizations dedicated to preventing unintentional injury. Safe Kids New Hampshire was founded in 1988 and is led by the Children's Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock. For more information, visit safekids.org.

About CHaD

As New Hampshire's only full service, comprehensive children's hospital, the Children's Hospital at Dartmouth‐Hitchcock (CHaD) is committed to providing outstanding compassionate care for children and their families. Their physician expertise provides primary, specialty, and tertiary care to the children of New Hampshire, Vermont, and beyond. CHaD offers inpatient (hospital care) and outpatient (same day care) services at Dartmouth‐Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, NH. Outpatient and same day surgery services are available at Dartmouth‐Hitchcock Manchester, as well as outpatient pediatric specialties at Wentworth‐Douglass Hospital, Dover and in Exeter. Primary care is available at Dartmouth‐Hitchcock facilities in Bedford, Concord, Keene, Lebanon, Manchester, and Nashua, NH, and Bennington, VT. For more information about CHaD, please visit www.chadkids.org or contact us at (603) 650‐KIDS or chad.community.relations@hitchcock.org.