The spookiest night of the year is tonight! Your little ghosts and goblins are probably anticipating a night of tricks and treats. To make sure their Halloween evening is full of fun, follow these safety tips.
Did you know children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween, than on any other day of the year?!
The National Center for Health Statistics estimates more than 7,000 pedestrians in the United States die in traffic or non-traffic incidents every year. Non-traffic incidents occur in areas such as driveways, parking lots or other private property. About 18 percent of these deaths occurred at road crossings or intersections with lack of visibility being a factor.
Dressing up is fun, but don’t do it at the risk of your own safety. If possible, choose a costume that is made out of fire-resistant materials. Masks should be avoided if they obstruct vision; you need to be able to clearly see your surroundings when crossing a street. Add reflective tape to costumes or bags if going out after dark.
Young children should always be accompanied by an adult. If your child is age-appropriate to trick-or-treat alone, make sure you discuss a route together first and remind them when they should be back home. Also, educate children to never enter a stranger’s home or car and to travel in groups and stay in well-lit familiar areas. As hard as it may be to resist, ask your children that they wait to eat their candy until they get home.
Children and adults are both guilty of loving their electronic devices – but on Oct. 31, I encourage you to put the phone down and keep your heads up! Be on the lookout for children walking on roadways, medians and curbs. When entering or backing out of a driveway or alley, approach slowly and carefully. The darker it gets out, the more you must do to watch for children in dark clothing that may not be as visible. For inexperienced drivers such as new driver license holders, it may be best that they stay off the road on Halloween.
And finally, for those of you who prefer to be the treat givers, remember that you should still take measures to secure your home. An evening of opening doors to trick-or-treaters may dissuade you from locking your door, but that’s also an invitation to a house robbery. Remember to lock your door every time, and before calling it a night, double-check that valuables have been removed from your car, lock your car and house doors, and close your garage. You don’t want your valuables to end up part of the Stolen Collection. Find out more at SCStolenCollection.com.
I wish you and your family a fun and spooktacular Halloween, and most of all, I wish you a SAFE one. Please take the time to share these tips with friends and family – stay safe, Santa Clarita!
Cameron Smyth is a member of the Santa Clarita City Council and can be reached at [email protected].