2006-10-20 / Community

Trick Or Treat Safely This Year

Halloween is a time of fun for children, but it can be scary for parents and drivers. Children are often out after dark, crossing busy streets, and perhaps going to unfamiliar homes.

"With the season's shortest daylight and excited kids frantically going from neighbor to neighbor, drivers need to be particularly cautious," says Ray Palermo, director of public information for Teachers' Insurance Plan. By following some simple advice, parents, children, drivers and homeowners can all have a safe, enjoyable time.

+ This year, Halloween falls on a school day, which means trick-or-treating is more likely to take place at dusk or later. If children are out at night, drivers need to be careful when visibility is limited. Use high beams to see and be seen.

+ Trick-or-treaters should always be accompanied by an adult or travel in a group.

+ Children should be told not to eat any unwrapped candy or treats until they return home where their parents can see them. Making sure kids have already eaten before heading out may help.

+ Parents should incorporate reflective tape in costumes, or add bright colors to increase visibility. Make-up rather than masks should be worn to help ensure that children have an unobstructed view of their surroundings.

+ Trick-or-treaters may be caught up in the excitement of the day and not be as careful as they should. Children should always cross at corners and look both ways before crossing. Drivers need to keep a careful eye on the road and on the sidewalk, in case anyone darts out from between parked cars.

+ Children should stay on the sidewalk and carry a flashlight.

+ Homeowners should clear their yards of anything that can be tripped over, and be sure to have a front door or walkway light on.

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