Buckle Up for Life
Monday, October 27, 2014
It’s a kid’s dream—this year’s night of Halloween trick-or-treating falls on a Friday! That means no worrying about upset stomachs from too much candy the next day at school. And with an estimated 70 percent of kids and adults planning to celebrate Halloween, it’s also sure to mean crowded streets as kids plead for more time to trick-or-treat, perhaps even farther away than normal thanks to a parent willing to make the drive.
On a night full of costumes, candy and excited friends, it’s important to remember the tips and tricks of proper car seat safety. Buckle Up for Life, a child passenger safety education program from Toyota and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, has important advice on how to make this year’s candy haul as safe as possible:
– If you drive multiple children around to trick-or-treat, make sure that everyone is properly restrained in the vehicle. As a general rule, there should only be one child per seat belt and one child per car seat.
– If your child is wearing a heavy costume, you may want to dress them in a simple t-shirt and pants for the car ride. In a crash, bulky costumes will compress and your harness straps can come loose.
– Drivers on the road should be mindful of the heavy pedestrian traffic on Halloween night. Teach your children to look both ways before crossing the street and never to cross between two vehicles. (Reflective tape on a costume can also make it easier for kids to be seen by drivers.)
The American Academy of Pediatrics also has some important trick-or-treating tips:
– Plan costumes that are bright and reflective. Make sure that shoes fit well and that costumes are short enough to prevent tripping, entanglement or contact with flame.
– Because masks can limit or block eyesight, consider non-toxic makeup and decorative hats as safer alternatives. Hats should fit properly to prevent them from sliding over eyes.
– A parent or responsible adult should always accompany young children on their neighborhood rounds.
Buckle Up for Life was founded by Toyota and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in 2004. The community-based child passenger safety education program — which has been implemented in 14 cities across the country — educates the entire family on critical safety behaviors and provides free child car seats to families in need. BuckleUpForLife.org includes tools on how to find the right car seat for any child, how to properly install any car seat and where to find local assistance on installing car seats. The entire website is also available in Spanish.