“We tell children to walk during daylight hours with friends, not to go down unfamiliar streets, watch out for potholes and raised cracks on sidewalks and to wear light-colored clothing,” Melvin said. “If they are walking to school at dawn in a neighborhood without sidewalks, they should have something reflective on their clothing or backpack, and be accompanied by an adult if possible.”
Every student who hears the presentation receives a drawstring backpack filled with pedestrian safety information, reflective accessories and a blinking light for them to use to ensure they are visible. UF Health TraumaOne typically gives away around 760 bags every year.
“We use this opportunity to also focus on Halloween safety and remind students not to wear masks, which can make it harder for them to see a car, or dark face paint and colors that can make it hard for a driver to see them,” Melvin said. “If a child lives in a high-crime neighborhood, we encourage them to join a group of friends and have an adult take them to a safer neighborhood to trick-or-treat.”