Authorities urge safe Halloween

October 30, 2008 4:41:24 PM PDT
Neighborhoods will be filled with little ghouls and goblins in search of tricks or treats Friday.Some Head Start kids in north Austin got a "head start" on Halloween Thursday. Some were already wearing their costumes. For those 3- and 4-year-olds, the day is all about trick or treating and other fun... But a doctor says safety should also be a priority.

"Studies have shown about twice as many kids get hit on Halloween than any other day of the year," said Karen Sheehan, Children's Memorial Hospital.

That's because more kids are outside, increasing the risk of them darting across the street without looking both ways. Sheehan demonstrated how easy it is for a driver to miss spotting a child near his or her car..

"From the rear view mirror, I can only see up to 11 feet. So anything before 11 feet, I wouldn't be able to see the children," she explained.

Playing it safe on Halloween is also on the minds of law enforcers who do not want a repeat of the deadly shooting in Pilsen last year that killed Leticia Barrera as she was bringing her young children back from trick-or-treating.

Chicago Police Superintendent Jody Weis says he and other members of the command staff will patrol the city Friday night.

"We will do everything we can to make sure kids have a great time and safe time," Weis said.

Weis advised parents to accompany their kids during trick-or-treating and to do it during daylight hours, to make sure their children's costumes have reflective tape and to inspect candy before their children eat it.

"You have to keep in the back of your mind that you're responsible for your kids and it's good to look out for few hazards that can make a fun evening a scary one," Sheehan said.


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