File photo.

EDITORIAL: Halloween is coming, so be scared, but be safe

Parents and motorists have a huge responsibility on Halloween night

The streets and sidewalks of Greater Victoria will be filled tonight with things that go bump in the night. And motorists are advised to be extra cautious to avoid playing a role in a real Halloween tragedy.

All Hallows’ Eve remains one of the favourite nights of the year for kids of all ages. But it’s important to remember how one small mistake can not only ruin the excitement of trick-or-treating for a small child, but it can also bring real horror to a family.

Safety begins at home before anyone gets dressed up.

Help children pick out costumes that fit properly and keep them warm. Make sure they’re bright and colourful so they can be seen in the dark.

Costumes that are dark to enhance spookiness should be trimmed with reflective tape, so that bigger trick-or-treaters and motorists can see them. Parents should look through any mask included with the costume to ensure their child’s vision isn’t impaired.

This is when children can be trained and/or reminded about Halloween safety – walk don’t run, especially across roads; walk in groups so they are more visible to motorists; and use the sidewalk wherever possible.

Skip houses that don’t have lights on and don’t let them approach unfamiliar animals.

Your children may feel they’re too old to have an adult hang around while they trick-or-treat.

Be there anyway, because Halloween is a special night, and although it can be a lot of fun, it’s dark and can be chaotic. Having a responsible adult around helps keep children safe. Children get excited about their candy hauls; keep them happy hauls by checking their treats before they eat them.

As homeowners, we need to make sure our walkways, steps and front yards are well lit and all obstacles, which could trip trick-or-treaters, have been removed. Motorists play a huge role in safety on Halloween night – every corner, parked vehicle or yard entrance can provide a frightening surprise.

Watch for the little ones who will likely not be watching for you.

Let’s all have a Happy Halloween. And what the heck, let them eat some candy. We have two months until Christmas.

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