Tricounty News

Halloween safety tips

Halloween is a time of great fun for children, but it can be a little scary for parents and drivers. Children are often out after dark, crossing busy streets and perhaps going to unfamiliar homes. "With excited kids frantically going from neighbor to neighbor, drivers need to be particularly cautious," said Ray Palermo, director of public information for Teachers' Insurance Plan. "However, by following some simple advice, parents, children, drivers and homeowners can all have a safe, enjoyable time." • If children are out at night, drivers need to be particularly careful at dusk and when driving either over a hill or around a curve, where visibility is limited. Use high beams to see and be seen. • Trick-or-treaters should always be accompanied by an adult or travel in a group. Children should be told not to eat any unwrapped candy or treats until they return home where their parents can see them. Making sure kids have already eaten before heading out may help. • Parents may want to limit kids to local events run by police stations, firehouses, senior citizen centers or local businesses, or organize their own through their school. • Parents should incorporate reflective tape in costumes or add bright colors to increase visiblity. Make-up rather than masks should be worn to help ensure that children have an unobstructed view of their surroundings. • Trick-or-treaters may be caught up in the excitement of the day and not be as careful as they should. They should always cross at corners and look both ways before crossing. Drivers need to keep a careful eye on the road and on the sidewalk, in case anyone darts out from between parked cars. • Children should stay on the sidewalk or, if none is available, walk facing the lane of traffic, and they should carry a flashlight. • Homeowners should clear their yards of anything that can be tripped over and be sure to have a front door or walkway light on, and refrain from decorations that use an open flame that could ignite a child's costume. More information is available at www.teachers.com/safety.