WILMINGTON -- Halloween is a week away, but folks are celebrating early at UNCW tonight. The carnival just started. It's sponsored by the Center for Leadership and Education Services. Other agencies here in North Carolina also are passing along the Halloween safety message as kids get ready to head out doors in search of tricks or treats. The ghosts and goblins aren't the scary things on Halloween. Experts say the holiday is notorious for accidents and injury, especially for kids. Safe Kids coordinator Kim Budde said, "Halloween is a very dangerous time a year for children, children are more than twice as likely to be hit and killed by a car on Halloween than any other night." The hours between 5:30 and 9:30 are considered prime trick-or-treating hours. Since it's dark parents have to remember to take the necessary precautions. Parent Sylvia Carnes said, "It's at night, so we always bring at least one adult per child we make sure that they wear bright clothing." There are some other tips experts want parents to know. Budde said, "For parents, talk with your kids, use the sidewalks, use the crosswalks, do not dart in between cars, parked cars. Make sure the children are aware to look out for the cars, as well as the drivers look out for the trick-or-treaters." The Safe Kids organization says drivers should drive safely in residential neighborhoods, enter and exit driveways and alleys slowly and carefully and watch for children walking in the street, and on medians and curbs. Safe Drive is giving away these reflectors you can clip on kids costumes to increase their visibility to cars on Halloween. They're free and available at New Hanover County Health Department and Carolina Beach Fire Department. The carnival is Wednesday until eight p.m. at the Warwick Center on the UNCW campus.
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