Stay safe on the scariest night of the year

Published 5:43 pm Thursday, October 24, 2019


The Advocate-Messenger

Halloween is approaching quickly. The holiday brings about a magical time.

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Children get to spend the night as one of their favorite characters in the pursuit of sacks full of sweet treats. Parents get the chance to experience trick-or-treating from a different vantage point as they watch their little ones light up with excitement over the occasion.

And adults have one night to transform into someone or something totally different.

While the holiday can be filled with excitement, cheer and some sugar-induced jitters, there are some scary risks that go beyond the creepy clown masks and fake blood.

Along with all the fun comes safety concerns, especially when it comes to crossing roads, pedestrian safety, impaired driving and even the candy.

Children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween than any other day of the year, according to The National Safety Council. In 2017, October ranked No. 2 in motor vehicle deaths by month, with 3,700. July was No. 1, with 3,830 deaths.

The American Academy of Pediatrics offers these tips to ensure a safe Halloween:

  • A responsible adult should accompany young children around neighborhoods.
  • If older children are going alone, plan and review their route.
  • Agree on a specific time children should return home.
  • Teach children to never enter a stranger’s home or car.
  • Instruct children to travel only in familiar, well-lit areas and stick with their friends.
  • Tell your children not to eat any treats until they return home and it can be checked for any open or suspicious packages.
  • All costumes, wigs and accessories should be fire-resistant.
  • Avoid masks, which can obstruct vision.
  • If children are allowed out after dark, fasten reflective tape to their costumes and bags, or give them glow sticks.
  • Put electronic devices down, keep heads up and walk, don’t run, across the street.
  • Motorists should watch for children walking on roadways, medians and curbs; enter and exit driveways and alleys carefully; and watch for children in dark clothing.
  • Parents should discourage new, inexperienced drivers from driving on Halloween.
  • If you go to a Halloween party where there is alcohol, do not drink and drive. Also be vigilant of others who are drinking and discourage them from driving.

For an even safer trick or treating experience, consider one of the many dedicated Halloween events offered in the area, like:

  • Downtown Danville — 5:30-7:30 p.m. Oct. 31 between Second and Fourth streets on Main Street; or
  • Junction City — 5:30-7 p.m. Oct. 31 for a “trunk or treat” event.

If each person would practice these tips and take extra precautions to ensure their own safety and the safety of others, there’s no doubt there will be a happy Halloween night.