Halloween 2018 is just days away, and most children are preparing for an evening of family fun and enjoyment. Safety is an important part of any outing, and I would like to share with you a few thoughts when planning your Halloween.

Motorists

Motorists are reminded to pay extra attention for trick-or-treaters of all ages. Young children excited by Halloween could dart in front of a vehicle. Please slow down and drive with extra caution. If you are headed to a costume party, make sure the costume doesn’t hamper your vision while driving! Motorists picking up and dropping off trick-or-treaters may increase the number of vehicles on city streets, therefore affecting normal traffic patterns. Please be courteous and alert.

Trick-or-treaters

Keep costumes short to prevent tripping and consider makeup rather than masks. Masks can make it difficult for children to see oncoming traffic. Wear light-colored clothing or add reflective tape to dark costumes to make them visible. Flame-resistant costumes are your best bet. Remember to look both ways when crossing the street. Use sidewalks wherever possible when you’re walking around a neighborhood.  

Trick-or-treaters are encouraged to make their rounds while it is still light outside. If you go out later, take a flashlight. An adult should always accompany small children, and older children should stay in groups.

Parents

Tell your child to approach only familiar houses that are well lighted. Remind them they should never enter a stranger’s house or vehicle. Trick-or treating with your children can be fun, and having a watchful parent along limits potential safety risks.  At the end of the evening you can also take an active part in inspecting the fruits of your child’s labor.

Adults

Consider spending Halloween at home answering the front door. If you do attend a Halloween party that includes alcohol, make sure you have a sober, designated driver for the trip home. Alcohol, even in small amounts, slows reaction time and dulls the senses. Drinking alcohol could have a sad and possibly a deadly result.

Have a safe Halloween!

Milt Medeiros is Chief of Police in Gustine.