Unlike most holidays, Halloween really has no serious purpose. It's primarily an opportunity for harmless, child-oriented fun. Costumes, trick-or-treat activities and an opportunity to engage in make believe combine to make Halloween a favorite of youngsters and those still young at heart.
Unfortunately, what can be a day filled with happy festivities can turn tragic if adults don't ensure that important safety precautions are observed.
Motorists in particular need to be mindful that in the dark of early evening, large numbers of children preoccupied with trick-or-treat pursuits may be on or near roadways. Parents, of course, should caution the young folks to exercise care when walking on streets or crossing them, but in the excitement of comparing costumes and seeking treats, it is easy for kids to become distracted. Consequently, close adult supervision of the trick-or-treaters is important. Drivers should help keep the night safe and fun by exercising even more care than might normally be required.
In addition to overseeing youngsters, adults should make certain that important ground rules are in place. The following are some suggestions in that regard from the National Safety Council:
Have an adult or responsible older youth present at all times.
Trick or treat only in familiar areas.
Teach children to stop only at houses or apartment buildings that are well-lighted.
Pin on the child a slip of paper with the youngster's name, address and telephone number.
Require that treats be brought home for inspection before they are eaten.
Care should also be taken in the selection of costumes and accessories. It is important that the materials used be fire-retardant and not have dangerous elements that could lead to the injury of the wearer or someone else.
Halloween can produce treasured childhood memories. Helping guarantee that result requires due consideration for basic safety considerations and the application of common sense.
Have a happy Halloween.