Halloween is a night that many look forward toward with glee, and some with dread. Gangs of small strange creatures in bizarre costumes roam the streets as darkness falls, and then the doorbell rings… What’s not to like?
Aside from the nutritional disaster that a sack full of candy represents, Halloween is rife with risks for kids and grownups, pedestrians and drivers alike. The Healdsburg Police Department keeps a close watch on www.safekids.org, according to Police Chief Matt Jenkins.
“Halloween is a day for our youth to experience the magic that it encompasses, but it is also the most dangerous time of the year for child pedestrians,” said Chief Jenkins. “Trick-or-treater and drivers alike must do their parts to ensure a safe Halloween, and following these safety tips will help make it a treat-filled night for all.”
For the trick-or-treaters (and non-trick-or-treaters) walking:
- Cross at corners and look both ways before crossing.
- Make eye contact with drivers of vehicles before you cross, so you know they see you.
- Put electronic devices away! The light from your screen will make it harder to see in the dark, and it keeps you from paying attention to the vehicles around you.
- Always walk on the sidewalk.
- Watch for cars backing out of or pulling into driveways.
- Use flashlights or glowsticks to increase visibility.
- Walk; don’t run.
A responsible adult should escort kids while trick-or-treating.
- Choose light colors if possible or use reflective materials on the costume or trick-or-treat bags.
- Use face paint and makeup whenever possible instead of a mask that can obstruct vision.
- Make sure the costume fits to avoid tripping.
For those driving on Halloween night:
- Slow down and be extra alert in residential neighborhoods and the downtown area.
- Take extra time to look for kids at intersections or coming out between parked vehicles.
- Enter and exit driveways slowly.
- Avoid known congested areas if you can.
And some general safety tips:
- Tell children not to stray from their group.
- Keep pets inside your house or another safe place.
- Parents should know what route(s) their children will be taking.
- Make sure children know to never enter a stranger’s home or accept rides from a stranger.