Halloween falls on a Saturday this year, meaning young trick-or-treaters potentially will spend more time out and about in pursuit of candy.
Expect to see an uptick, too, in the number of holiday parties for children – and for grownups.
You can help to ensure our region’s costumed revelers have an enjoyable, accident-free weekend by following basic precautions regarding wardrobe choices, home decorations and risky behavior. The following safety tips were garnered from webpages of organizations including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; visit www.cdc.gov/family/halloween.
• Accompany young children as they go door to door. Visit only those houses and apartments of people whom you know. If an older child will not be with a parent or guardian while trick-or-treating, insist that he or she travel with a group. Know the group’s route. Equip him or her with a cellphone. Agree on the time that he or she is expected home.
• Stick to sidewalks wherever possible. Don’t cut through yards, where unseen tripping hazards might await. Use extra caution if walking beside a road. Cross streets only at intersections or crosswalks.
• Walk, don’t run, between stops.
• Stand out from the darkness by attaching reflector strips to clothing. Carry a flashlight or glow stick.
• Select a costume free of parts that might pose a choking hazard or get tangled in the feet. Forgo high-heeled shoes. (Sorry, princess. We don’t want you to topple.) If carrying a prop, such as a sword, knife or magic wand, make sure it’s of the flexible, plastic variety.
• Opt for facepaint rather than masks. Or if a mask is a must, be sure it has wide eye openings, so peripheral vision is not blocked.
• If wearing makeup, sample it on the skin well before venturing into the neighborhood, just in case a rash or other reaction develops.
• Candles in the window? Stick to the battery-powered ones.
• Abide by a municipality’s pre-determined hours for Halloween activities.
• If driving this weekend, keep it slow in neighborhoods – especially after sunset.
Let’s keep those “bumps in the night” the harmless, mischievous kind, not the sort that require a trip to the emergency room.