Tips for a safe, fun Halloween

Published 1:54 pm Saturday, October 28, 2017

Halloween is a magical time. Children get to spend the night as one of their favorite characters on the pursuit of sacks full of sweet treats. Parents get the chance to experience trick-or-treating from a different vantage point as they watch their little ones light up with excitement over the occasion. And adults have one night to transform into someone or something totally different.

While the holiday can be filled with excitement, cheer and some sugar-induced jitters, there are some scary risks that go beyond the creepy clown masks and fake blood.

There is a fine line between Halloween fun and some of the safety concerns, especially when it comes to crossing roads, pedestrian safety and even the candy.

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Children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween than any other day of the year, according to The National Safety Council. October ranks second in motor vehicle deaths by month, with an average of 3,550.

The American Academy of Pediatrics offers these tips to ensure a safe Halloween:

— A responsible adult should accompany young children on the neighborhood rounds

— If older children are going alone, plan and review a route

— Agree on a specific time children should return home

— Teach children to never enter a stranger’s home or car

— Instruct children to travel only in familiar, well-lit areas and stick with their friends

— Tell your children not to eat any treats until they return home and it can be checked for any open or suspicious packages

— All costumes, wigs and accessories should be fire-resistant

— Avoid masks, which can obstruct vision

— If children are allowed out after dark, fasten reflective tape to their costumes and bags, or give them glow sticks

— Children and adults are reminded to put electronic devices down, keep heads up and walk, don’t run, across the street.

— Motorist should watch for children walking on roadways, medians and curbs; enter and exit driveways and alleys carefully, watch for children in dark clothing.

— Parents should discourage new, inexperienced drivers from driving on Halloween.

For an even safer trick or treating experience, consider one of the many “trunk-or-treats” offered by area churches or downtown Winchester’ Halloween Main-ia. These events are typically hosted in an area which is blocked off from traffic with treats handed out from well-meaning businesses and congregations. For information about these events, visit

If each person would practice these tips and take extra precautions to ensure their own safety and the safety of others, there’s no doubt Tuesday will be a happy Halloween night.