Johnson City Press Thursday, October 23, 2014
Opinion

Take precautions to keep Halloween fun

October 31st, 2011 9:03 am by Staff Report

Halloween is Monday, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be some ghosts and goblins getting an early start on the haunted holiday.
If you are an adult heading out to a Halloween party tonight, be sure to follow one simple rule that should always be heeded: Don’t drink and drive.
If you plan on having a few cocktails this evening, be certain you have a sober designated driver ready to return you home. Remember, local law enforcement agencies will be on the lookout for drunken drivers this weekend.
There are also a few other tips you should keep in mid to help make Halloween safe and fun for all the trick-or-treaters who will be knocking on doors Monday night.
For starters, it’s important for drivers to take extra care on Halloween because many children will be dressed in dark costumes. That means motorists should watch for children darting out from between parked cars, or walking on roadways, medians and curbs.
Parents should make sure that an adult or a responsible teenager will be accompanying trick-or-treaters age 12 or younger. Children should travel only in familiar areas and along an established route.
Youngsters should also be told not to eat any candy until they have returned home and it has been examined by an adult.
Costumes should be made of fire-retardant materials and should not be so long they are a tripping hazard. Safety officials say falls are the leading cause of injury on Halloween.
If children are allowed out after dark, costumes should be made with light colored materials, and strips of reflective tape should be used to make children more visible to motorists.
Costume masks should not obstruct a child’s vision. Masks should have nose and mouth openings and large eye holes.
Children and the adults who accompany them should carry flashlights to light the way. It’s also important that children walk on the sidewalk, not in the street.
Unfortunately, there are neighborhoods here in Johnson City that do not have sidewalks. In those cases, children need to walk — facing traffic — closest to the edge of the road or street.
Again, all trick-or-treaters under the age of 12 should be accompanied by an adult or a responsible older sibling.
Homeowners should keep luminaries — candles sitting in paper bags or other containers — away from walkways where children dressed in long flowing costumes can come into contact with them.
Also, keep jack-o-lanterns and other decorations containing lighted candles away from flammable materials.

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