There are so many factors involved with this, and we could easily get lost amid all of the information. However, for the purpose of this entry I am going to focus mainly on the things that involve cars and drivers. I am not sure how else to relay this other than just a bullet list, so here you go:
- DO NOT DRINK AND DRIVE. Duh!!! You should not do this anyway, but especially on a nights when millions of children are out and about, scurrying to get as much candy as possible before they have to go home. Halloween party? Please, make sure you have a designated driver or a place to stay within walking distance if you plan on drinking alcohol.
- Drive extra slow, because children will be walking in the roadway, on curbs and medians, running across the roads, blinded by their scary masks and poorly illuminated by their dark costumes.
- WATCH for children darting out from between parked cars or running out from driveways. Indeed, plan on it—and drive as though you anticipate this to occur.
- Enter and exit driveways, alleys, parking lots, etc very carefully.
Next, reminders for what parents can do to help protect their children:
- Adult supervision for all children under the age of 10 and for any older children who may need it.
- Make sure your children are aware of all traffic/pedestrian safety rules. They should know to cross the street at an intersection preferably in a marked crosswalk and to walk on the left side of a roadway facing traffic if there is no sidewalk.
- Keep the groups together. Children will be very anxious to get to that next house ahead of friends. Try to maintain control and keep other from running ahead---at least until you are in the driveway or in front of the next house.
- Costumes should not be so long that children trip on them.
- If possible, use makeup instead of masks. Masks are more likely to obstruct a child’s vision.
- Dress in light-colored clothes and using retro-reflective marking on clothes and shoes to provide better visibility to others.
- A flashlight is a good idea, however, make sure your child knows not to distract drivers by shining it into cars.
Halloween is supposed to be fun and exciting and it certainly can be if we all show respect and care for each other, as we share the roadways.
Have a safe and fun Halloween!!!