Our View: Tips for a safe Halloween

Published 1:40 pm Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Halloween is near, which means hoards of little, ghosts, ghouls and goblins will descend on Winchester in hopes of filling up their candy bags.

There is likely no other day of the year when more children will be traveling through the community on foot.

That means that while Halloween will be filled with fun and good times, it also poses many risks to little ones who are trick or treating and the adults with them.

According to Safe Kids Worldwide, a nonprofit organization working to help families and communities keep kids safe from injuries, children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween than any other day of the year.

Safe Kids Worldwide offers these tips to stay safe this Halloween:

— Decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers and, if possible, choose light colors. Since masks can sometimes obstruct a child’s vision, try non-toxic face paint and makeup whenever possible.

— Have kids use glow sticks or flashlights to help them see and be seen by drivers.

— Children younger than 12 should not be alone at night without adult supervision. If kids are mature enough to be out without supervision, remind them to stick to familiar areas that are well lit and trick-or-treat in groups.

— In Winchester, trick or treat hours are 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 31, so be especially alert for kids during those hours.

— When selecting a costume make sure it is the right size to prevent trips and falls.

— Cross the street at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks.

— Always walk on sidewalks or paths. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible. Children should walk on direct routes with the fewest street crossings.

— Slow down and be especially alert in residential neighborhoods. Children are excited on Halloween and may move in unpredictable ways.

Downtown Winchester’s annual Halloween Main-ia will be from 6 to 8 p.m. on Halloween. Main Street will be closed to traffic and local businesses and organizations will hand out candy and other treats. This offers a safe place for parents to bring trick or treaters to avoid the risks of traffic and to get candy from trusted sources.