Keeping Halloween safe and fun

Published 3:51 pm Thursday, October 30, 2008

It has been a few years since I was an active trick-or-treater; more years than I care to admit. My childhood memories of Halloween revolved around plotting with neighborhood friends what houses gave the best treats.

Trick-or-treating can be a fun time for both kids and parents with a little precaution and common sense. In researching how best to keep our family out of harm’s way, I came across some advice worth passing along.

Here are a few tips from the American Red Cross:

-Walk on sidewalks, not in the street.

-Don’t hide or cross the street between parked cars.

-Wear light-colored or reflective-type clothing so you are more visible. (And remember to put reflective tape on bikes, skateboards, and brooms, too!)

-Teach children their home phone number and how to call 9-1-1 if they have an emergency or become lost. Remind them that 9-1-1 can be dialed free from any phone.

-Plan your route and share it with your family. If possible, have an adult go with you.

-Carry a flashlight to light your way.

-Keep away from open fires and candles.

-Visit homes that have the porch light on.

-Accept your treats at the door and never go into a stranger’s house.

-Use face paint rather than masks or things that will cover your eyes.

-Have a grown-up inspect your treats before eating. And don’t eat candy if the package is already opened. Small, hard pieces of candy are a choking hazard for young children.

-Make sure your yard is clear of obstacles that can trip the young ones.

-Check fruit and homemade treats for punctures or foreign bodies that may have been injected, such as pins, metal needles or razor blades. Allow your child to eat such items only if from someone you know and trust.

-Don’t assume the right of way. Motorists may not see trick-or-treaters.

We hope you and your family have a safe and enjoyable trick-or-treat holiday.