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    “Be seen. Be safe.” this Halloween

    Vancouver, October 07, 2011 – As Oct. 31 approaches, the B.C. Association of Optometrists reminds parents to pick up free ““Be Seen. Be Safe.” reflective stickers for their children’s Halloween costumes.

    “We want to help keep kids safe this Halloween, and that includes being visible to motorists,” says Dr. Meghan Ashton, a B.C. optometrist.

    The reflective stickers are available to parents across the province at BCAO optometrists’ offices, which are listed at www.whatcouldbemoreimportant.com. In rural areas where there are no optometry offices, the reflective stickers are provided to the local RCMP detachments.

    About 10 per cent of all pedestrian traffic injuries involve children six to 15 years old and occur between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Traditional Halloween activities such as trick-or-treating can be risky because there are more children on the street than usual, and they tend to be excited and pay less attention to traffic safety.

    Here are some Halloween safety tips from the B.C. Association of Optometrists:

    • Have a responsible adult accompany trick-or-treaters.
    • Use iron-on reflective fabric or tape – or pick up a “Be seen. Be safe.” reflective sticker for children’s costumes and/or coats.
    • Don’t wear a mask, use hypo-allergenic make-up instead – children need to see where they’re going.
    • Carry a flashlight.
    • Don’t crisscross the street while trick-or-treating – go down one side of the street to the end, then back on the other side.
    • Avoid novelty or cosmetic contact lenses, which may obscure vision and increase the risk of eye infections.
    • Avoid costumes that restrict movement of the head, so children can still easily look both ways before crossing the street.
    • Ensure that the path to your door is well-lit for trick-or-treaters.
    • To avoid an eye injury or vision loss, stay clear of firecrackers and sparklers and keep young children away from them.

    Remember to “Be seen. Be safe.” and have a Happy Halloween!

    Optometrists specialize in examining, diagnosing, treating, managing and preventing diseases and disorders of the visual system, the eye and related structures. It’s important children have a complete eye exam by six months, at three years, before entering school and annually thereafter. For more information on eye health, or to locate a BCAO member optometrist near you, visit www.whatcouldbemoreimportant.com. For fun and practical updates on children’s eye health, become a fan of the a-b-See Children’s Vision Program Facebook page by searching A-B-See on Facebook.

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    For more information contact: Jeannine Bartz, media relations, 604.623.3007