Amok, Amok, Amok, Amok!

It’s almost Halloween – “a night of frolic where children wear costumes and run amok!” At least that’s the way Winifred Sanderson in the movie Hocus Pocus sees it. And in some ways, she’s not far off in her assessment. It’s a night of costumes, candy, parties, ghosts and goblins, haunted houses and magical fun. It’s also a night where safety should be top of mind.

Did you know that Halloween is one of the deadliest days of the year for child pedestrian accidents? Sadly, it’s true and per one report, over 60% of the accidents occurred between 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. – prime time for trick-or-treaters. Think about it. It’s dark, the kids are excited, they’re quick and can dart in and out of traffic if not supervised. Basically, the children’s presence on the road and even around houses requires extra caution. It’s important for motorists to be on the lookout for children on roadways, medians and curbs: remember that they don’t always wait to get to the intersection before crossing. Always enter and exit driveways and parking lots with caution. Go slow.

Do not let young children go unsupervised and only go to houses with porch lights lit. Do not let them eat any of their candy until they get home and then make sure you check it carefully for any irregularities. Reflective tape is a great way to “light up” costumes for high visibility.

If you are someone who loves to decorate for the holiday, make sure you keep safety in mind as well. It seems like burning candles are a mainstay for Halloween décor. They can also be extremely dangerous and can lead to unexpected damage to your home or worse. Battery-operated candles are a great alternative. Make sure the placement of your holiday decor doesn’t lend itself to being knocked over, tripped over or otherwise causing damage or injury.

Keep your pets safe too. Candy is for the kids, not for your pets. In fact, candy can be toxic to your pets so make sure it is out of reach. The constant arrivals at the front door can be scary for them too. Keep them calm and always keep pets inside. If you are absolutely compelled to dress up your pet for Halloween, make sure it doesn’t stress them out; make sure the costume fits properly and doesn’t restrict their movement or breathing.

Seems like a lot to think about to keep Halloween safe. It’s not; just a little extra caution and a lot of common sense. And remember…

“When cats prowl and pumpkins gleam, may luck and safety be yours on Halloween.”

Posted by MJ Thomas

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