Make Halloween fun - and safe - for all


A MAGIC TIME coming up this weekend with Halloween on the calendar.

The holiday falls on a Monday this year, which means that trick-or-treating will be concentrated on three consecutive days in villages and cities across the county.

Some communities hold trick-or-treating on Oct. 31, the day of Halloween, while others schedule it on the Saturday or Sunday preceding the holiday so as not to interfere with a school night. Many communities have parties or other special events scheduled around trick-or-treating as well.

It means that trick-or-treaters will be making their rounds on one of three consecutive days this year in Sheboygan County.

It’s a favorite holiday of many children – and more than a few adults, as well – as they dress up and go door-to-door to collect treats and, hopefully, don’t partake in the trick half of the tradition.

It’s also a time that requires all of us, whatever our age, to take extra steps to ensure it is a safe and happy time.

While the night offers fun for young and old alike, the National Safety Council advises all to emphasize safety to ensure that everyone has a good time at Halloween.

The council offers the following guidelines for a safe and happy Halloween:

• Instruct children to travel only in familiar areas and along an established route.

• Teach your children to stop only at houses or apartment buildings that are well lit, never enter a stranger’s home and establish a return time.

• Dress children only in fire-retardant costumes.

• Keep costumes hemmed so they don’t cause children to trip. Falls are the leading cause of unintentional injuries on Halloween.

• Decorate Halloween costumes with lightcolored and light-reflecting material if kids will be out after dark.

• Use facial make-up instead of masks, which can obstruct a child’s vision.

• Give children an early meal before sending them trick-or-treating. Tell children not to eat any treat until they return home and when in doubt, throw it out.

The NSC also has some good advice for drivers to follow to ensure a safe and happy Halloween:

• Watch for children walking on roadways, medians and curbs.

• Enter and exit driveways and alleys carefully.

• At twilight and later in the evening, watch for children in dark clothing.

• Watch for children darting out from between parked cars.

• Slow down and be especially alert in residential neighborhoods. Children are excited on Halloween and may move in unpredictable ways.

• Drive slowly, anticipate heavy pedestrian traffic and turn your headlights on earlier in the day to spot children from greater distances.

A little bit of caution, a little bit of care and a lot of paying attention can ensure Halloween will be magic and not tragic, and that the only bad part of the holiday will be a few tummy aches after eating too much trick-or-treat candy too fast.

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