Proper planning for parents, children can lead to safe Halloween

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By Stacey Manning, Managing Editor

The weather has finally turned and the chill of fall is at last in the air.

Throughout Brunswick County, families have been busy transforming their homes and yards into frightful fun as they prepare for Halloween night. Store shelves are stocked with ghoulish decorations and an assortment of candy—everything from traditional popcorn balls, to chocolate bars and lots of eewy, gooey, gross things to delight taste buds.

Next week, little boys and girls will don their funniest, cutest and most frightening Halloween getups for a chance to knock on doors, ask, “Trick or treat?” They’ll head off laughing with bags full of candy. Those costumes may mean little ones’ views could be obstructed. Combined with the excitement the night brings, it can easily become a dangerous situation as young boys and girls dash from house to house, and often across busy roads, as they dare to collect as much yummy-goodness as they can.

Many parents will begin the Halloween excursion before dark, but oftentimes, especially for working families, the start gets delayed and quickly the door-knocks are happening after dark.

If you’re a homeowner who intends to pass out the goodies, be sure your home, walkways and driveways are well lit. Parents, be sure to bring a flashlight along with you to light the way. Children should carry one, too, when they can, and it may be good to strap on a glow stick or two so drivers have a better chance of seeing little ones after dark.

If you’re going to be on the roads on the evening of Oct. 31, remember always keep your eyes open for children who could be moving quickly across streets or darting out between parked cars. When in neighborhoods and subdivisions, take it extra slow to ensure you and the children get safely to and from destinations.

Here are some more safety tips from the caring folks at the American Red Cross. For more information, visit www.redcross.org:

• Walk on sidewalks, not in the street.

• Look both ways before crossing the street.

• Cross the street only at corners.

• Don’t hide or cross the street between parked cars.

• Wear light-colored or reflective-type clothing so you are more visible.

• Plan your route and share it with your family. Have an adult go with you.

• Carry a flashlight to light your way.

• Keep away from open fires and candles. Costumes can be extremely flammable.

• Visit homes that have the porch light on.

• Accept your treats at the door and never go into a stranger’s house.

• Use face paint rather than masks or things that will cover your eyes.

• Be cautious of animals and strangers.

• Have a grown-up inspect your treats before eating. And don’t eat candy if the package is already opened. Small, hard pieces of candy are a choking hazard for young children.

Planning for parents and children can lead to a safe, fun Halloween night. Don’t miss out on all the excitement. Have fun and have a spooky Halloween.