POLICE: Tips on how to stay safe on Halloween - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

POLICE: Tips on how to stay safe on Halloween

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The Cedar Rapids Police Department is urging parents and guardians to prepare their children to act safely. They are also encouraging drivers to be particularly alert.

Police say, on average, twice as many kids are killed while walking on Halloween than on other day of the year. 

Children are encouraged to trick-or-treat before it gets dark.  Children younger than age 10 should not be alone crossing streets on Halloween without an adult.  

Children who are mature enough to trick-or-treat alone are encouraged to go in groups and stay on predetermined routes with good lighting, as chosen by their parents.

Drivers need to be extra alert because there will be more children on the streets and sidewalks.

These kids may be focused on gathering candy and caught up in the excitement of the holiday rather than being careful while crossing streets. 

Drivers should avoid distractions and put down their mobile devices and slow down on neighborhood roads.

The Police Department, in cooperation with Linn County Safe Kids, offers the following safety advice:

•                        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.  Walk-- don’t run-- across the street.

•                        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.

•                        Slow down and stay alert - watch out for cars that are turning or backing up and never dart out into the street or cross in between parked cars.

•                        Costumes can be both creative and safe. Decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers and, if possible, choose light colors.

•                        Masks can obstruct a child's vision, so choose non-toxic face paint and make-up whenever possible instead.

•                        Have kids carry glow sticks or flashlights in order to see better, as well as be seen by drivers.

The Police Department and Linn County Safe Kids offer the following advice to drivers:

•             Slow down in residential neighborhoods.  Remember that popular trick-or-treating hours are 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

•             Be especially alert and take extra time to look for kids 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.

For more tips on how to help kids become safer pedestrians on Halloween, as well as throughout the year, visit www.safekids.org  and visit the Linn County Safe Kids Coalition Facebook page at www.facebook.com/linncountysafekids.

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