Avoid a nightmare – be safe this weekend

  • Thursday, October 30, 2014 9:42pm
  • Opinion

Peninsula residents beware: Ghosts and goblins will be in out abundance this evening.

In their mad rush to get as much trick-or-treat booty as possible, many children aren’t as aware of traffic as they should be during Halloween. Running from house to house, they often fail to look both directions while crossing the street — a situation that’s rife with danger.

Before kids go out, it’s up to parents to remind them how important it is to be mindful of traffic and obey basic safety rules. Kids need to know that just because they’re free to run about the neighborhood after dark, they shouldn’t forget that motor vehicles have the right of way, and that cars and trucks rule the road.

But because children are notorious for their single-minded pursuit of candy, drivers should bear the brunt of responsibility for keeping the streets safe this Halloween.

That means driving extra slowly and staying aware that costume-clad youngsters can come darting out into the roadway at any time. There’s no reason to hurry through residential neighborhoods to begin with, but Friday night motorists need to be especially vigilant.

Here’s a few more ideas for ways kids can stay safe this Halloween:

■ Go trick-or-treating with a parent, guardian or a grown-up that’s been approved by your parents.

■ Wear reflective clothing.

■ Wear warm boots and warm clothing. It is usually cold this time of year.

■ Watch out for cars. They may not be able to see you very clearly.

■ Walk on the sidewalk, unless there isn’t one. If not, walk on the side of the roadway.

■ Always carry a flashlight or reflective chemical light.

■ Don’t go inside a stranger’s home.

■ Don’t walk across people’s yards. Use their pathway or walkway.

■ Don’t run. Running is a dangerous thing on Halloween night because costumes don’t always fit right and you may trip and fall.

■ If you are wearing a face mask, be especially careful. Masks can make it difficult to see and hear.

■ Walk in groups of people for personal safety.

■ Don’t accept unwrapped candy or baked goods.

■ Have your parents look at your candy before you eat any of it.

Halloween falling on a Friday also means plenty of parties for grown-up goblins, too. For those who choose drink at those gatherings, please, be responsible. Designate a driver, call a cab, or stay the night. Let’s make sure the scares are all in good fun, and not a real-life nightmare.

Halloween is fun and exciting time for kids and adults. By following a few basic safety rules, our community can ensure that this year’s event is a screaming success for all involved.

Have a safe and happy Halloween.