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Tuesday, September 02, 2014
Southwest Louisiana ,
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Editorial: Tips for having a safe and happy Halloween

Last Modified: Tuesday, October 29, 2013 9:19 PM

All Hallows’ Eve, or Halloween as it has come to be known, is a day of costumes and trick-or-treating, candy and jack-o’-lanterns, ghoulish behavior and scary movies.

It can also be a time of many dangers, particularly for young children.

The Red Cross and AAA offer the following tips to ensure a safe Halloween:

Plan the trick-or-treat route and make sure adults know where children are going. A parent or responsible adult should accompany young children as they make their way around the neighborhood.

Make sure the trick-or-treaters have a flashlight. Add reflective tape to costumes and Trick-or-Treat bags. Have everyone wear light-colored clothing in order to be seen.

Visit only the homes that have a porch light on. Accept treats at the door — never go inside.

Instead of masks, which can cover the eyes and make it hard to see, consider using face paint.

Walk only on the sidewalks, not in the street. If no sidewalk is available, walk at the edge of the roadway, facing traffic. Look both ways before crossing the street and cross only at the corner. Don’t cut across yards or use alleys. Don’t cross between parked cars.

People wanting to welcome trick-or-treaters should make sure an outdoor light is on. They should sweep leaves from the sidewalks and steps, clear the porch or front yard of any obstacles that a child could trip over and restrain any household pets.

Homeowners or renters should use a glow stick instead of a candle in the jack-o’-lantern to avoid a fire hazard.

Motorists should do their best to avoid residential areas where trick-or-treaters are likely to be present.

Halloween can also be disturbing to pets. Here are some safety tips:

Be careful when opening the door for trick-or-treaters that the household dog or cat does not escape. It might be best to keep the dog or cat in a separate room.

A candle lit inside of a pumpkin could be knocked over by a curious or scared pet. Use a glow stick to illuminate the jack-o’-lantern.

Putting a dog or cat in a costume could cause unnecessary anxiety for the pet.

Consuming chocolate can be deadly for a dog or cat.

A little planning and forethought can ensure that Halloween is a pleasant experience for all in the family.

  • • •

This editorial was written by a member of the American Press Editorial Board. Its content reflects the collaborative opinion of the Board, whose members include Bobby Dower, Mike Jones, Jim Beam, Crystal Stevenson and Donna Price.

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