Focus on safety amid fun on Halloween

Published 4:19 pm Friday, October 29, 2021

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Halloween arrives Sunday, and that presents the opportunity for a full weekend of celebration. Many skipped the holiday a year ago, so now the desire for some late October fun should be particularly strong.
Whether you have kids who are out doing the trick-or-treating rounds or you’re out enjoying a party, the key here is to make sure there’s safety amid the fun.
For starters, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is encouraging children to go out trick-or-treating this year. Outdoor activities are considered quite safe, especially if people practice a bit of distancing. As always, caution is advised for indoor gatherings, especially with large groups of people. Consider decorating a protective mask to make it part of the fun.
Beyond that, the usual Halloween safety advice still applies and is worth repeating.
To ease things, many churches are providing trick-or-treat events — some today and others, Sunday.
The biggest safety concern around Halloween, by far, is traffic. According to the nonprofit Safe Kids Worldwide, children are more than twice as likely to be hit and killed by a car on Halloween than on any other day of the year.
Kids and parents need to pay attention to traffic, and those driving around congested streets in neighborhoods need to pay extra attention. Parents need to teach kids how to cross the street safely. Even if parents are with their kids on Halloween, the excitement of going house to house often means kids running and not paying attention and they may get away from their guardians.
Also, many costumes are dark or bulky, so it’s important that kids make sure they can see what is around them before they cross the street. And, kids should carry some kind of light so they can be seen. It would be a good idea to attach some reflective tape to their costumes as well.
Trick-or-treating door-to-door is a time-honored tradition of childhood and a celebration of childhood independence. Our suggestion is if you don’t want your children out on the street, find a church that is providing Halloween fun, and take them to one of these events.
Kids are reminded to cross the street responsibly. Cross using traffic signals and crosswalks. Look both ways before crossing the street and keep an eye on the road while are you are crossing. Remind your child to not cross the street mid-block or run out between parked cars in neighborhoods.
Stay on sidewalks. If no sidewalks are available, always walk facing traffic and stay as far to the left of the roadway as possible.
For drivers, remember that more people will be out on sidewalks and streets on Sunday night and in places they aren’t expected. Be alert and don’t take anything for granted.
Pedestrians can be very unpredictable, especially children. Be on the lookout for children’s shoes or costumes under vehicles to make sure they are not crossing the street between parked cars in neighborhoods.
Let’s ensure that this is a weekend filled with fun memories and no regrets.

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