For many children in Pennsylvania and elsewhere, Halloween is one of the most anticipated nights of the year. Except for perhaps Christmas morning, almost nothing can beat the excitement of dressing up, going around the neighborhood and getting candy. You and other parents might not realize that this can also be one of the most dangerous times, especially when it comes to trick-or-treating near traffic.

In fact, warn the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Halloween is the most dangerous day of the year for child pedestrian accidents. Children are four times more likely to be struck by cars while trick-or-treating than being hit by a car at any other time of the year. It is not difficult to imagine why – excited children can dart unexpectedly into the street without looking for cars, and drivers may have difficulty seeing trick-or-treaters in dark costumes after sunset. How can you help your children stay safe on Halloween? AAA Exchange suggests the following:

  • Attach reflective tape to costumes and have your children carry a flashlight or glow stick.
  • Never let children under the age of 12 trick-or-treat without an adult or responsible older child.
  • Talk to your kids about traffic safety rules before going out.
  • If your children are trick-or-treating by themselves, make sure you know the route they will take and instruct them not to go anywhere else without your approval.

When you take measures to increase your children’s visibility after dark and instruct them on safety rules and expectations, you may decrease their chances of being hurt. This information is not meant to replace the advice of a lawyer.