Halloween Warning Issued by Creative Safety Supply to Save Children’s Lives at Night

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Creative Safety Supply releases findings from Halloween Child Safety Experiments and issues advice for a safe Halloween.

Reflective tape is an effective tool for increasing the visibility of people in the dark. It can catch the attention of drivers and potentially prevent accidents.

A recent study by Creative Safety Supply indicates that glow-in-the-dark tape is an unsafe alternative for making children more visible on Halloween, and reflective tape is a more effective safety solution.

While these two types of tape are both intended to increase visibility, they do not function the same way and are not both appropriate for all applications. Reflective tape works by reflecting light from other light sources rather than emitting light on its own. Glow-in-the-dark tape, on the other hand, does emit light, but it typically only emits bright light for a short period of time. This makes reflective tape the recommended visual safety tool for keeping children safe on Halloween.

In studies simulating trick-or-treating at night, light from headlights and flashlights reflected off reflective tape, calling attention to a person even from a distance.

“Reflective tape is an effective tool for increasing the visibility of people in the dark,” Nick Jordan, partner at Creative Safety Supply, said. “It can catch the attention of drivers and potentially prevent accidents.”

Parents can add reflective tape to a child’s costume or trick-or-treat bag to increase the chances the child will be seen.

Glow-in-the-dark tape, sometimes referred to as photoluminescent tape, is often considered another option for increasing visibility, but it is less impactful than reflective tape over the course of an evening. This tape works by absorbing light radiation and emitting it back out. This means to use the tape, parents will first need to “charge” it by exposing it to light. The stronger the light source the tape is exposed to, the brighter it glows.

In tests, Creative Safety Supply found the tape glowed most brightly for the first 15 to 30 minutes of use and then glowed more dimly afterward, so it was only useful for a short period. Parents can see an example of photoluminescent tape here. They can see glow-in-the-dark tape here as well.

Even when parents take extra measures to make children visible, it can still be difficult for drivers to see children in the dark. Children are more likely to be struck and killed by a car on Halloween than any other time of year. To increase safety, parents should keep other Halloween safety tips in mind, too. Nick Jordan recommends the following precautions:

Find as many ways as possible to make kids visible:

  •     Select light colored costumes, which are more easily seen at night.
  •     Add reflective tape to costumes.
  •     Carry flashlights or glow sticks.

Prevent slips, trips and falls:

  •     Choose costumes that aren’t too big or too long.
  •     Wear sensible footwear.
  •     Opt for face paint instead of masks that could impede vision.
  •     Always walk on sidewalks, not through yards where there could be garden hoses, clotheslines, toys and other tripping hazards.

Have a plan:

  •     Send an adult or older sibling with younger children.
  •     Discuss what route older children will take and set a curfew.
  •     Warn children not to enter a stranger’s house or vehicle.
  •     Put contact information in the pockets or on the costumes of small children in case they are separated from a group.
  •     Check all candy before allowing kids to eat it.

About Creative Safety Supply

Creative Safety Supply is a retailer of safety and lean manufacturing products. The Beaverton, Oregon-based company helps businesses comply with labeling, floor marking and safety requirements and create spaces that are easy for people to navigate. The company’s LabelTac®, SafetyTac® and Smart Stripe™ Tape brands of printers and floor markings allow safety and facility managers to take control of marking their workplaces with products that are simple to use and will last a long time.

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Nick Jordan
since: 10/2009
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