Halloween is Monday, and when the sun goes down, the neighborhoods are teeming with witches, goblins, monsters, and maybe pop culture figures for good measure, going door to door and asking the occupants of the home to return some of their sweets.
The trick or treat is almost upon us, and if you’re one of the families with costumes ready and buckets of pumpkin purchased to partake in this tradition, be prepared to do so safely. Solano Public Health, the Solano County Sheriff’s Office, and the Solano County Office of Education have released some tips for celebrating this spooky holiday without fear.
Chief among these recommendations is that parents inspect their children’s sweets before eating them. Open bags or boxes, candies with altered or suspect packaging, candies not individually wrapped, or homemade items – unless they come from a known and trusted source – should all be discarded. Adults must sort candies before eating them.
Families are also advised to walk on sidewalks rather than streets, bring flashlights so they can see and be seen after dark, plan routes in advance, stick to familiar well-lit areas, encourage children to walk and not run, and look both ways before crossing if they must cross a street or intersection.
Even though children love vampire or superhero capes, injuries can occur when the costumes knock them off. Children are advised to wear costumes that fit their body and do not drag on the floor and ensure that any props carried do not have sharp edges. Masks can also make scary costumes, but they can obstruct a costume wearer’s vision, so local agencies advise children to wear a face print instead. Other suit safety tips include wearing reflective tape or stickers for better visibility, avoiding dark suits as they can be difficult for drivers to see at night, and avoiding novelty contact lenses such as cat eye or snake eye as they can also block vision.
Children under 12 are asked to be accompanied by adults during the tricks, older youngsters must remain in a group if not joined by an adult, and the tricks should never travel alone.
For those without kids, Halloween night would be a good time to stay home, watch a scary movie, and hand out candy to cheaters. However, for those who will be driving during treat times, drivers are advised to exercise extreme caution in slowing down in residential areas, scanning the intersection for children crossing, and ensuring headlights are on to see pedestrians. Families who drive children to tricks should drop them off on a sidewalk that does not face traffic. Finally, everyone is advised not to drive while intoxicated and to designate a driver or drive home if they plan to consume alcohol at a party.