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Halloween is coming. Many people view Halloween as a time for fun and treats, dressing up in costumes, and attending spooky parties. It is also a time to be aware and demonstrate extra caution, especially for children, due to the increased foot traffic in low light conditions.
In the United States, children aged 5-14 are more likely to be struck by vehicular traffic while walking on Halloween night compared with other nights of the year. Also, as we all know this year is much different because of the pandemic. If you’re choosing to go out and trick or treat, please do so with current health and safety precautions related to COVID-19 in mind. Here are some safety tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the National Safety Council.
Make a mask part of the costume (if it wasn’t already)
Travel in small groups and be accompanied by an adult. (6 ft between unknown groups)
Wash hands frequently, if possible and as soon as you get home. (bring hand sanitizer)
Know everyone’s phone numbers for emergency phone calls.
Carry a note in their pocket with their name and address.
Bring treats home before eating them so parents can inspect them.
When using costume knives and swords, ensure they are flexible, not rigid or sharp.
When walking in neighborhoods, they should:
Use flashlights, stay on sidewalks if available, and avoid crossing yards.
Cross streets at the corner, use crosswalks if available, and don’t cross between parked cars.
Stop at all corners and stay together in a group before crossing.
Wear clothing that is bright, reflective, and flame retardant.
Avoid wearing hats that could slide over their eyes.
Avoid wearing long, baggy, or loose costumes or oversized shoes to prevent tripping.
Always look left, right, and left again before crossing the street.
Parents and adults should:
Supervise the outing for children under age 12.
Establish a curfew for older children.
Prepare homes for trick-or-treaters by clearing porches, lawns, and sidewalks and by placing decorations away from doorways and landings.
Avoid giving choking hazards such as gum, peanuts, hard candies, or small toys as treats to young children.
Inspect all candy before children eat it.
To ensure the safety of pedestrian trick-or-treaters, parents and adults should:
Make sure children under age 10 are supervised as they cross the street.
Watch for children in the street and on medians.
Exit driveways carefully.
Have children get out of cars on the curbside, not the traffic side.
Consider taking advantage of community events where the kids can show off their costumes and trick-or-treat in one central place without the need to navigate city and neighborhood streets. (Business trick or treat events in town)
Following these tips should help ensure this Halloween is a safe and fun holiday for everyone.
For more information and tips, visit our website at www.lincolncountysheriff.net and Like us on Facebook at Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office – Oregon.