It’s night of scares and spooks, but it doesn’t have to be dangerous or harmful, either.
As parents across our communities send their little ones out to knock on doors and pronounce “trick-or-treat!” let’s make sure the night is a treat for them.
There are a number of tips from safekids.org you can follow. First, make sure the kids are crossing streets at corners and are using and obeying traffic signals and crosswalks. Instruct them to look left, right and then left again when crossing a street and to keep looking.
Also, make sure they are not using their electronic devices when walking and that they have their heads up. Instruct them to walk, not run, across the street.
Make sure your little ones are walking on sidewalks or paths. If there are no sidewalks, safekids.org recommends they walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible. Children should walk on direct routes with the fewest number of street crossings.
Also, have them watch out for cars that are turning or backing up. Kids should never dart out into the street or cross between parked cars.
You also can make sure their costumes are safe for them to wear. Choose light colors if possible and use reflective tape or stickers on bags and costumes. Using face paint or makeup instead of a mask also can help them to see.
Have children use flashlights or glow sticks to help them see and be seen. And make sure the costume fits and is the right size, so they don’t trip and fall because of it.
It’s not just the little ones who should be mindful and safe tonight, either. If you are on the road, slow down and be alert in residential neighborhoods. Take extra time to look for kids at intersections, in medians and on curbs. Enter and exit driveways and alleyways slowly and carefully.
And keep the cell phone out of your hand. Don’t drive distracted, especially at a time when small children are about in far less light than in daytime.
Let’s hope everyone has a good time getting bags of candy and gets home to enjoy it.