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Keep safety in mind this Halloween
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Halloween is supposed to be a time of scares and frights, but local and national organizations are offering up some safety tips to keep the night from becoming a real horror.Trick-or-treating is a fun experience for children, but requires a few precautions on the part of parents to keep it a safe experience.“Combine children walking after dark, candy, vision-compromising costumes, and adult partygoers on the road and you have a recipe for disaster,” said AAA Northern California spokesperson Cynthia Harris.Tips for a safe Halloween include:• Never let children trick-or-treat by themselves. They should always be accompanied by an adult.• Trick-or treat in well-lighted areas. Make sure each child has a flashlight to assist with walking from house to house.• Stay on the sidewalk and walk facing traffic. Cross streets only at intersections. AAA says children are always at greater risk as pedestrians because of their shorter stature and unreliable judgment about when and where to cross streets. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of deaths among young pedestrians from 5 to 14 years of age is four times higher on Halloween, between 4 p.m. and 10 p.m.  Approach only those homes with porch lights or other front lights on.• Leave the child’s face unobstructed.  If a trick-or-treater wears a hat, be sure it fits well and doesn’t block vision. Use make-up in place of a mask that obstructs vision.• Stripe the costume with highly reflective tape front and back to make the trick-or-treater easier to see in the dark.• Do not allow children to eat any treats until the group has returned home and an adult has examined the contents of each bag.• Do not eat anything that is even slightly suspicious. For example, look for commercially wrapped candy that may have been unwrapped and then re-wrapped. Motorists should drive slower through neighborhoods (approximately 5 mph slower than the posted speed limit). Children dart from house to house, excited about collecting candy, and they forget about traffic and other dangers. Look for children around porches, front lawns, and other areas adjacent to the road, not just the sidewalks.Light jack-o-lanterns with a battery powered light and never use candles. Instruct children to stay away from open flames.  Be sure they know how to stop, drop and roll if their clothing catches fire. To contact Sabra Stafford, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2002.