Though many churches provide an alternative to common Halloween activities by offering a Fall Festival, there will still be many children walking their neighborhoods and telling their neighbors, “trick or treat.” Thursday night, October 31, children will dress up in every costume imaginable, carrying their plastic pumpkins or a paper grocery bag, seeking to fill it, or at least cover the bottom with candy. While children are doing their thing, parents must do theirs. Parents must make the evening as safe as possible for their children. Flashlights, reflective armbands, and anything else necessary to make your child as visible as possible should be your quest. No child should be allowed to go out alone. Parents must be very careful, as their children seek to be a bit independent, to keep a close a watchful eye on their children.
Another group that has a responsibility for the safety of children and adult pedestrians are those of us that may be driving our vehicles. Defensive driving not only protects those in the car, it also protects everyone around your vehicle. When driving on secondary roads, it is important to reduce your speed, knowing that people are going to be out and about.
The third group with safety responsibilities is the homeowner. Some will leave their homes and not return until everyone has gone home. I recommend that you still light up your home, in the event that someone walks up on your porch, or doorstep. For those of you that choose to stay home and give out candy, be careful to make things safe, even in your desire to make things scary. Keep in mind, you are responsible for those that come onto your property, invited or not.
Now that everyone is back home safely, parents, your work is not done. We live in a world where evil reigns in the hearts of some. It is this evil desire that laces candy with poison, or places harmful things like razor blades in candy or fruit. It is hard to believe that what I am writing about really occurs every year. Whether you take your child’s candy to a designated scanning location or you check it yourself, each piece of candy or fruit should be checked for any sign of tampering.
On a slightly different, but related note, be careful if you use real candles in your pumpkins. There are safer alternatives for lighting your jack-o-lantern, but some still choose to use real candles. If only one fire is started from this cause, it is one too many. If you use real candles, be sure to blow them out when you leave or when you go to bed. Fires that start on front porches are much more prevalent than most people realize.
The last group that I will speak to are those that will attend Halloween parties. If you are planning to drink alcoholic beverages, then you must have a designated driver. I would tell you not to drink, but that would be a waste of my energy. Do everything possible to return home safely.