It is once again one of the most special times of the year for children in Santa Clarita: Trick-or-treating is just a few days away! Whether you have children of your own or are still young at heart, Halloween offers a great deal of opportunities for fun, as well as a few safety challenges we should all consider.
This weekend, Santa Clarita residents of all ages will be out in droves celebrating Halloween, from themed parties with friends to watching “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” at The Centre, to dressing up in costume and going around the neighborhood in search of a sweet treat or two. Many local restaurants are offering special menus inspired by the harvest season, and movie buffs are sure to gather to watch some of the best horror films ever created.
What this all means is that you will undoubtedly see many more residents out on sidewalks, crossing streets and driving throughout Santa Clarita.
To ensure that everyone remains safe and enjoys their Halloween responsibly, it is important to keep a few tips in mind. First, if you are attending a party or event – or planning on a fun night out on the town – and alcohol is being served, be sure to have a designated driver or safe transportation to get yourself home. Driving under the influence has devastating consequences that forever alter the lives of residents in our community. Stay smart – and safe – and get home without incident.
Though Halloween is on a Monday this year, it is likely that there will be more pedestrians out and about over the weekend to celebrate the holiday. Local costume contests, “Trunk-or-Treat” opportunities and other events are sure to draw in families from all over the city of Santa Clarita. When you are driving around, expect to see more people on the sidewalks, especially in residential areas and near parks.
Anticipate that there will be pedestrians waiting to cross the street any time you approach an intersection, and be mindful that young children may try to cross immediately or without warning. When you are turning through an intersection, wait until all pedestrians have completely crossed and take a few extra moments to ensure the street is clear before continuing.
On Halloween night, it becomes even more important to be vigilant when behind the wheel when coming home from work or taking your little ones out to trick-or-treat. Reduce your speed in residential areas and be on the lookout for superheroes, witches, princesses, monsters and their parents. Give yourself plenty of extra travel time to get where you need to go so that you do not have to rush and remember – disconnect from distractions like your phone and radio so you can focus your attention on the road instead.
Of course, it is also necessary to remind your children how to stay safe when they are out this Halloween. Before you take your kids trick-or-treating, reinforce safe behaviors like staying close to the group and waiting for adults before crossing the street. Similar to the tip for drivers, you want to anticipate that there will always be a vehicle waiting to go through an intersection, so you should always stop and double-check that the roadway is clear before proceeding.
It is essential to talk to your kids about the importance of only eating candy that is properly wrapped in its original container. Implore your kids to wait until they get home to dive into their haul, and be sure to toss out any suspicious items and those that have been tampered with.
These are just a few tips that are easy to remember so that everyone in Santa Clarita remains safe this Halloween. I hope you will take a few extra seconds to put them into practice and help ensure that a fun and magical holiday stays that way for children of all ages.
Most of all, I wish you and your family a happy – and safe – Halloween!
Marsha McLean is a member of the Santa Clarita City Council and can be reached at [email protected].