Advocate Editorial Board opinion: Remember to be safe on scary holiday

By the Advocate Editorial Board
Oct. 30, 2013 at 5:30 a.m.

If you hear a knock on your door Thursday night, don't be surprised if you find a few monsters, witches, fairies, ghosts and other characters on your doorstep. We hope you are prepared to give them a few treats before sending them on their way.

That's right. Thursday night is Halloween. Every year, children get dressed up to imitate their favorite characters and spooks. But over time, certain myths and urban legends have made some people afraid to take their children trick-or-treating from house to house every year. But one only has to do a cursory search on Google to see that tales of razor blades hidden in candy apples and candy tainted with poison are little more than stories. And as much as Halloween seems like the perfect time for sex offenders and perverts to go out on the prowl to victimize children, there are actually laws specifically to prevent sexual predators from participating in the holiday.

The real dangers of Halloween are much more common things that every parent should be aware of. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a list of tips to help families prepare for a safe Halloween night. Here are some of their suggestions: • Costume weapons should be short, soft and flexible.

• Never trick-or-treat alone. Always go in groups or with a trusted adult.

• Fasten reflective tape (available at any hardware store) to costumes or treat bags to be more visible to vehicles. Use a flashlight to help see and help others see you.

• Examine all treats for choking hazards and tampering.

• Try on your makeup and costume before the big night to make sure it is safe and appropriate. Masks should fit well without blocking vision or breathing. Costumes should not restrict movement. Wear comfortable shoes.

• Be aware of your surroundings. Walk on sidewalks as much as possible and use crosswalks to cross the street. Do not walk near luminaries or open flames. Parents should watch for vehicles and make sure their children are not straying into the street.

• Only trick or treat at well-lit homes. Do not enter homes without a trusted adult. Never accept rides from strangers.

These guidelines will help families have a safe and enjoyable Halloween. If parents are still unsure about the safety of trick-or-treating in neighborhoods, the Victoria Mall is hosting its annual Malloween event where children can trick or treat indoors at participating stores.

We hope Crossroads residents have another safe Halloween night this year. Always remember to use common sense when trick-or-treating. Happy Halloween. We hope you receive plenty of treats and no tricks Thursday night.

This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.



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