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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Halloween Safety Tips

I grew up in the country with few neighbors.  When Halloween rolled around, my parents took us to a friend’s house so that my sister and I, along with our two friends, could walk through their neighborhood trick-or-treating.  It seemed harmless at the time but as I think back about it, I’m pretty sure we didn’t always think about safety first.  Up until last year, Gray never participated in true trick-or-treating.  Matt’s company always hosted something, so I never had to worry.  And because we too live in the country with few neighbors, this past year my sister and I drove him around my hometown to a select few houses so that family and friends could see him in action.

I’d never dream of turning Gray loose like my parents did with my sister and me.  That’s because according to State Farm from 1990 – 2010, Halloween was the deadliest day of the year for child pedestrian accidents.  An article on consumeraffairs.com stated that between 6:00-7:00 p.m. is the most dangerous time, and that more than 70% of the accidents occurred in the middle of the block, usually when excited trick-or-treaters darted between parked cars.

Halloween is just a few days away and because it is on a Saturday night, I think kids will be out in full force – having a great time and forgetting about all those rules their parents taught them.  So here’s a reminder for us all:
  • Drivers – be on high alert, use care when going through neighborhoods, never take your eyes off the road, and put those cell phones away.
  • Kids – trick-or-treat with an adult, always be aware of your surroundings, avoid distractions (you too should put away your phone), stay on sidewalks, look both right and left before crossing the road, cross only at street corners, follow traffic signals, carry a flashlight, and always walk instead of running. Remember to only visit houses where the lights are on outside, and never go inside a house.  Don’t forget to say thank you.
  • Parents – accompany your kids (and if you are like me you’ll constantly be barking out orders like stay on the sidewalk, watch where you are walking, look both ways).  Make sure your child’s costume is flame retardant, fits properly, doesn’t obstruct their vision, has reflector strips on it, and that any accessories like swords and such are soft and flexible.  Examine all treats before allowing your child to eat them.
Whew.  That seems like a lot to remember, but we love our kids – and yours, and we want everyone to have a great time, return home safely, and be able to share their stories for a long time to come.  Now get out there and score some candy and have a Happy Halloween!

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