For many families in our community, Halloween is a fun time for children to dress up in costumes and go trick-or-treating.
But it's also a good time to stress safety to our kids. Here's a few simple tips from the Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help make sure the evening goes smoothly:
S Stick to the plan: Parents should know exactly what streets and neighborhoods their kids will be visiting, and kids should not venture to other areas.
A Avoid trick-or-treating alone. Walk in groups or with a trusted adult.
F Fasten reflective tape to costumes and bags to help drivers see you.
E Examine all treats for choking hazards and tampering before eating them. Limit the amount of treats you eat.
H Hold a flashlight while trick-or-treating to help you see and others see you. Always WALK and don't run from house to house.
A Always test make-up in a small area first. Remove it before bedtime to prevent possible skin and eye irritation.
L Look both ways before crossing the street. Use established crosswalks wherever possible.
L Lower your risk for serious eye injury by not wearing decorative contact lenses.
O Only walk on sidewalks whenever possible, or on the far edge of the road facing traffic to stay safe.
W Wear well-fitting masks, costumes, and shoes to avoid blocked vision, trips, and falls. Sharp costume accessories like knives or swords must be avoided
E Eat only factory-wrapped treats. Avoid eating homemade treats made by strangers.
E Enter homes only if you're with a trusted adult. Only visit well-lit houses. Don't stop at dark houses. Never accept rides from strangers.
N Never walk near lit candles or luminaries. Be sure to wear flame-resistant costumes.
And even those of us who won't be trick-or-treating have an important role to play. Popular trick-or-treating hours are often between 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. so all drivers should be especially alert for kids during those hours. Drivers should also slow down and be especially alert in residential neighborhoods. Children are understandably excited on Halloween and may move in unpredictable ways.
Let's make sure this Halloween is indeed a "happy" one for everyone!