Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the holidays — along comes Halloween and the news that it’s not safe.
No less experts than the good folks at AAA have announced that Halloween is a tricky time to trick, and to treat, too, if you are a pedestrian.
“As if Halloween night isn’t scary enough, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety says Halloween is the deadliest night of year for pedestrians. The risk of fatality increases as neighborhoods become packed with children scurrying between homes for treats and streets become filled with carloads of adult party-goers. AAA strongly urges everyone to play an active role in keeping trick-or-treaters and adults safe by taking extra precautions this Halloween.”
So it is important for those who are driving and those who are walking to be safe, Monday night.
Other safety tips for the holiday include:
• Children under 12 should trick-or-treat and cross streets with an adult.
• Always walk on sidewalks or paths. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible.
• Cross the street at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks. Parents should remind children to watch for cars that are turning or backing up.
• Look left, right and left again when crossing and keep looking as you cross. Walk, don’t run, across the street.
Drivers’ tips for Halloween night include:
• Slow down and be especially alert in residential neighborhoods. Children are excited on Halloween and may move in unpredictable ways.
• Anticipate heavy pedestrian traffic and turn your headlights on earlier in the day so you can spot children from greater distances.
• Remember that costumes can limit children’s visibility and they may not be able to see your vehicle.
• Reduce any distractions inside your car so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings.
Costumes and treat tips:
• Decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers and choose light colored costumes to improve visibility.
• Choose face paint and make-up instead of masks, which can obstruct a child’s vision. Look for non-toxic designations when choosing Halloween makeup.
• Avoid carrying sticks, swords, or other sharp objects.
• Have kids carry glow sticks or flashlights in order to see better, as well as to be seen by drivers. The liquid in glow sticks is hazardous, so parents should remind children not to chew on or break them.
• Check treats for signs of tampering before children are allowed to eat them. Candy should be thrown away if the wrapper is faded or torn, or if the candy is unwrapped.
A lot of this is common sense stuff, but talk it up. Make sure those young parents who get a kick out of taking the kiddies around are also making sure they are safe.
No sense ruining a perfectly good spooky evening, after all.
— Chuck Smith