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Halloween is only a few days away and that means kids will be dressed up walking door-to-door collecting treats. With all the excitement, people tend to forget a few simple safety tips resulting in accidents or injuries that could have been avoided.

The CDC reports that pedestrians between the ages of 5 – 14 are four times more likely to be killed on Halloween than any other day of the year. That is why Halloween safety is important to trick-or-treaters as well as drivers. Falls are the leading cause of injuries on Halloween, usually from tripping over costumes or running in the dark. Parents can help prevent children from getting injured at Halloween by following these safety tips.

Children should:

· Go only to well-lit houses and remain on porches rather than entering houses.

· Travel in small groups and accompanied by an adult.

· Have names and addresses attached to their costumes.

· Bring treats home before eating them so parents can inspect them.

· Wear visible clothing and costumes should be short enough to prevent tripping and falling.

· Wear well-fitting, sturdy shoes.

When walking in neighborhoods, Children and Parents should

· Use flashlights, stay on sidewalks, and avoid crossing yards.

· Cross streets at the corner, use crosswalks, and do not cross between parked cars.

· Wear clothing that is bright, reflective, and flame retardant.

· Consider using face paint instead of masks so vision is not obscured.

· Avoid wearing long, baggy, or loose costumes or oversized shoes to prevent tripping.

Parents and adults should:

· Supervise the outing for children under age 12.

· Review traffic safety rules with children.

· Avoid giving choke hazards such as gum, peanuts, hard candies, or small toys as treats to young children.

· Inspect all candy for safety before children eat it.

· Watch for pedestrians – drive slowly and watch for children when exiting driveways

Homeowners should:

· Prepare homes for trick-or-treaters by clearing porches, lawns, and sidewalks and by placing jack-o-lanterns away from doorways and landings.

· Put pets away to protect them from cars or inadvertently biting a trick-or-treater. Pets get frightened on Halloween

· Use battery powered jack-o’-lantern candles rather than real flame.

· When using candles, place the pumpkin well away from where trick-or-treaters will be walking or standing.

Halloween is an exciting time for kids. Parents: Please don’t overestimate your children’s street safety skills. It is always devastating when a child has an accident, but a serious injury on a holiday will be haunting year after year and will ruin that special time. By keeping safe on Halloween, you and your kids will have lasting, happy, memories for years to come. May you fear ghosts and goblins on Halloween, not a serious accident or injury.

Mark Bello has thirty-three years experience as a trial lawyer and twelve years as an underwriter and situational analyst in the lawsuit funding industry. He is the owner and founder of Lawsuit Financial Corporation which helps provide legal finance cash flow solutions and consulting when necessities of life litigation funding is needed by a plaintiff involved in pending personal injury litigation. Bello is a Justice Pac member of the American Association for Justice, Sustaining and Justice Pac member of the Michigan Association for Justice, Business Associate of the Florida, Tennessee, and Colorado Associations for Justice, a member of the American Bar Association, the State Bar of Michigan and the Injury Board.

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