Halloween falls on Thursday and if past events foretell the future, the city’s streets and sidewalks will swell with children who have been transformed into candy-craving monsters. They will tramp from house to house in hopes that their tricks will be rewarded with treats and we, especially those of us behind the wheel, need to watch for ghostly forms that could dart into our paths.
Here’s a scary statistic: Children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween than any other day of the year. And while the likelihood of a child being run over at all is extremely remote, we need to take the necessary precautions this Thursday to ensure there are no accidents in our city.
Parents can do a lot to protect children by making sure that their costumes fit properly and that they can not only see out of them but can be seen as well. If that means carrying a flashlight (certainly not a candle) so be it. Even better is for a parent to accompany trick-o-treaters, especially the young ones.
According to the American College of Emergency Physicians, other safety issues associated with Halloween include eye wounds from sharp objects and burns from flammable costumes.
And while the candy that kids rake in poses no real threat except to their teeth, it doesn’t hurt to make a casual inspection of the wrapping. It is also advisable for parents to be mindful of the houses that their children visit. Debris in the yard or perhaps a tethered dog would be things to avoid.
In the end, trick-o-treating on Halloween night has to be one the fondest memories that children take with them into adulthood. It is up to us as parents, motorists and good neighbors to help ensure that those memories are not blemished by an accident of any kind.