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Tips to keep your kids injury-free this Halloween

If your kids are still young enough to go trick-or-treating, you or another adult is probably going with them this Halloween. However, you still want to make sure that your children (and others you may be in charge of for the night) follow important safety precautions.

The American Red Cross provides some valuable tips to help parents ensure that everyone arrives home from their trick-or-treating adventures safe and sound.

Use reflective tape: Place strips on kids' costumes, shoes, bags and anything else they're carrying. This helps them be visible, even if they're on a street or sidewalk without lights.

Give them flashlights: Everyone should have something to light their way. This will help prevent trips and falls over debris, uneven surfaces and curbs. It will further help drivers and other pedestrians see everyone as well. If a costume comes with a working lightsaber or another source of light, that might be bright enough to do the job.

Use makeup rather than masks: Masks can limit a person's vision. Face makeup is much safer and can be far more creative.

Choose light or bright costumes: Even with reflective tape, dark costumes can be dangerous. The adults should wear clothes that are easy to see also. This can help kids find you if they get separated.

Plan the route: Have your route planned out ahead of time. It's easy now with all of the map apps available to give a copy to everyone (and make sure all of the parents have one). This can help if anyone gets lost or separated from the group.

Stick to sidewalks: If there's no sidewalk, stay at the edge of the road, and walk facing traffic. If you have to cross a street, make sure everyone is together. Only cross at crosswalks or intersections. Don't jaywalk or cross in front of or behind parked cars.

Don't approach dogs: Halloween can be an exciting (and frightening) night for dogs. Even if you encounter a dog you know on a leash with their owner, kids shouldn't approach them. The dog may not recognize a child in a costume.

No one wants Halloween to be marred by an injury, whether it's a car accident or dog bite. If you or your child does suffer an injury, make sure you get the compensation you need from the responsible person(s) to cover medical care and other costs.

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