Let’s ensure safety of trick-or-treaters

Children’s night out should be a blast

By The Mercury

Although more money is being spent this year on adult Halloween costumes than on children’s costumes — $1,22 billion to $1,02 billion —  trick-or-treating remains a children’s activity. We hope that never changes.

We also hope that adults again do their part to make sure the kids are safe. That goes especially for parents of trick-or-treaters, neighbors greeting kids at the door and passing out goodies and motorists driving on streets busy with ghosts and pirates and princesses. Some of them will be more focused on their conversations and their candy than they are with oncoming vehicles. And as much fun as exterior decorations are, residents ought to make sure those don’t become obstacles for distracted children.

The list of safety tips is a long one, but it mostly involves common sense. With regard to costumes, key points include making sure costumes are reflective, aren’t so long as to trip wearers, and that masks don’t compromise visibility. Accessories should be flame resistant and neither bulky nor sharp.

Parents are urged to accompany young children, and kids old enough to go out without their parents ought to go with a group of friends. Carrying a flashlight and even a cell phone is prudent. Accidents involving pedestrians are the top cause of injuries on Halloween.

Kids should visit only those homes with a porch light on and should not enter people’s homes.

As for the candy, most of it these days comes individually wrapped, which helps. Still, parents would be wise to give their children’s haul a once-over to make sure nothing’s been tampered with (and perhaps to negotiate for some personal favorites).

Halloween is one of those days that makes childhood memorable. Let’s ensure that it’s memorable for happy — and even sweet —reasons.

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