As Halloween approaches, parents and drivers are urged to use caution to ensure an enjoyable evening for all. Many of the planned activities will take place under the cover of darkness. Progressing into the winter months, our available daylight becomes less. Sunset will occur at approximately 6:15 p.m. on Oct. 31.
When you are selecting a costume, think about the child's safety. Choose a costume that is age appropriate. A costume too large can obstruct a child's vision, make movement difficult or cause the child to trip. Loose-hanging materials can be trapped in doors, bicycles or motor vehicles. Be cautious of items that may be flammable. Costume colors should be bright to allow them to be seen easily in the dark. Consider having the child carry a lantern or glo-stick to make them more visible.
An adult should accompany young children as they walk. Children should only be allowed to go to homes of those people they know. Remind children to cross streets in a safe manner, using cross walks and avoiding running into the street. None of the items collected should be consumed until they can be inspected under adequate lighting conditions. Several groups provide child safe programs as an alternative to collecting treats door to door.
Drivers are asked to be hyper vigilant to children unexpectedly entering onto the roadway. The excitement of the evening and restricted visibility of a costume may impair the judgment of a child. Dark clothing may also make children less visible to a driver.
Drivers must also be aware of their own costumes or the costumes of their passengers. Remove any masks, clothing or props which may limit visibility or restrict safe operation of a motor vehicle. Limit your use of alcohol and utilize a designated driver.