Tonight the Abingtons will be filled with young ghosts and goblins in search of Halloween’s most delectable delights. Family-friendly neighborhoods make our towns the perfect setting for trick-or-treating.
Whether you are the parent of Halloweeners, a treat provider or a motorist driving around tonight, you can help make it a safe night as well as a fun one.
Safety on Halloween night starts with residents who are giving out treats. I know the mood is supposed to be eerie for the holiday, but it is more practical and safer to make sure that neighborhoods are well lit. It is easier to do that in town or in the developments than it is in our more rural areas. I live on a pretty dark road, so if I am inviting Halloweeners, I turn all the lights on my property up to their brightest to make sure that my costumed guests can clearly see their way to my front door.
For trick-or-treaters and motorists, here are some useful tips to remember from safekids.org:
Cross the street at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks. Look left, right and left again when crossing and keep looking as you cross.
Put electronic devices down, keep heads up and walk, don’t run, across the street.
Teach children to make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them.
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.
Watch for cars that are turning or backing up. Teach children to never dart out into the street or cross between parked cars.
Join kids under age 12 for trick-or-treating. If kids are mature enough to be out without supervision, tell them to stick to familiar areas that are well lit and trick-or-treat in groups.
Decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers and, if possible, choose light colors.
Choose face paint and makeup whenever possible instead of masks, which can obstruct a child’s vision.
Have kids carry glow sticks or flashlights to help them see and be seen by drivers.
When selecting a costume, make sure it is the right size to prevent trips and falls.
Slow down and be especially alert in residential neighborhoods. Children are excited on Halloween and may move in unpredictable ways.
Take extra time to look for kids at intersections, on medians and on curbs.
Enter and exit driveways and alleys slowly and carefully.
Get rid of any distractions – like your phone – in your car so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings.
Turn your headlights on earlier in the day to spot children from greater distances.
Popular trick-or-treating hours are 5:30-9:30 p.m. Be especially alert for kids during those hours.
Teri Lyon is a mom, grandmom and freelance writer who lives in Glenburn Township with her cat.