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Halloween is for kids; make it a safe one

It's hard to believe that fall has set in and with it comes Halloween already upon us Monday.

It sounds like its going to be a relatively nice evening for trick-or-treaters so motorists really need to be aware of and on the lookout for all the ghosts and goblins that will be out and about in their quest for the traditional holiday goodies.

On that note, Halloween should be an exciting and fun time for everyone, not scary and dangerous. A lot of that has to do with the safety measures put in place before the little ones are allowed out trick-or-treating.

There are several common sense measures that need to be implemented to ensure a safe and accident free evening. They include:

*Making sure the costume material is both flame retardant, and warm and sturdy enough to take lots of activity.

*Leaving the child's face unobstructed. If a trick-or-treater wears a hat, be sure it fits well and doesn't block vision. Safe "goblins" wear make-up on their faces, rather than masks or helmets that are hard to see, hear or breathe through.

*Striping the costume with highly reflective tape front and back to make the trick-or-treater easier to see in the dark. Don't let children wear a dark costume or camouflage.

*Requiring children to wear flat shoes that fit well, without heels. Avoid over-sized shoes such as clown costume shoes.

*Trick-or treating in well-lighted areas, making sure each child has a flashlight to assist with walking from house to house.

*Staying on the sidewalks where available and walking facing the traffic. Cross streets only at intersections. Don't jump ditches and always stay alert.

*Approaching only those homes with porch lights or other front lights on.

*Not allowing children to eat any treats until the group has returned home and an adult has examined the contents of each bag.

*Not eating anything that is even slightly suspicious. For example, look for commercially wrapped candy that may have been unwrapped and then re-wrapped.

*And last but not least, but most importantly, always making sure a child is accompanied by an adult.

Employing all these practices will add up to a safe and happy Halloween for everyone.