Myrtle Beach - An estimated 3,500 motor vehicle-related deaths occur each Halloween, according to the National Safety Council. This Halloween, Grand Strand Health encourages parents to keep their kids safe by using reflective wear, flashlights, the buddy-system and traffic-safety precautions.

"No one wants to end up in the emergency department on a holiday that should be about kids enjoying costumes and candy," expresses Rebecca Matthews, MD, Grand Strand Medical Center's Pediatric Emergency Medical Director. "It is important for parents and children of all ages to be careful while enjoying this time of year as accidents can happen when children are darting to the next house for candy."

To help you enjoy your Halloween while protecting your youngest loved ones, the medical experts at Grand Strand Health have compiled a list of Halloween safety tips to add to your checklist:

  • Children under 12 years should trick-or-treat with a trusted adult
  • A trusted adult should walk with children on sidewalks and stay with them when they cross the street
  • Stick to familiar areas that are well lit
  • Always assume that drivers cannot see you, especially at night
  • Safety in numbers, trick-or-treat in groups so you are more likely to be seen
  • Decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers
  • Choose flame resistant and light colored clothing/costumes
  • Carry flashlights or glow sticks
  • Choose non-toxic face paint and makeup over masks, which can obstruct a child's vision
  • Avoid carrying toy guns, swords, sticks and other sharp objects

"Something a lot of people forget is that kids aren't the only ones getting dressed up and celebrating Halloween - which can mean an increased rate of drunk driving incidents," adds Dr. Matthews. "My plea to adults celebrating Halloween with alcohol is to call a cab and don't drive at all if you're drinking."

Ultimately, Halloween is a time for celebration and fun, so enjoy that time with your friends and family by following proper safety precautions.