In case you’ve missed the candy displays or don’t have a young person in the house to remind you, Thursday is Halloween.
When we were younger, this day meant running from door to door with our costumed friends, knocking on doors and screaming, “Trick or treat” in a quest for bags full of candy.
Like just about everything, though the yearly festival has changed over the years.
Many costumes now include glow-in-the-dark elements, or children carry fluorescent toys to help drivers see them in the dark. Some parents bypass trick-or-treating in neighborhoods in favor of experiences around car trunks lined up in church parking lots. Others take their little monsters and princesses to the Scare on the Square in downtown Paris so they can keep an eye on them.
Of course, many still send the youngsters out on the streets in search of sugary treats — with some parents even driving them to neighborhoods with bigger homes in an effort to get bigger treats.
While Halloween is a time of great excitement for our children, that excitement creates some dangers that can be reduced by taking simple precautions.
Here is a common-sense list of safety reminders for all of us to review before children head out later today in search of treats.
-Children should always trick-or-treat with a trusted adult.
-Cross streets using crosswalks or at intersecting streets (corners) and only after having checked for cars.
-Costumes and candy bag/containers should have reflective tape or material affixed.
-Everybody should use a flashlight and glow sticks.
-Motorists should slow down and be cautious when driving in residential neighborhoods.
-Eat only factory-wrapped treats.
Trick-or-treaters are going to load up on sugar, so the American Academy of Pediatrics offers this advice on how to make Halloween a bit more healthful:
-Consider purchasing non-food treats for those who visit your home, such as coloring books or pens and pencils.
-Wait until children are home to sort and check treats. Though tampering is rare, a responsible adult should closely examine all treats and throw away any spoiled, unwrapped or suspicious items.
Thursday is all about children having fun. We can all do our part to make sure that the fun doesn’t give way to tragedy.
Let’s not have any real nightmares this Halloween.