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Being your safest on Halloween
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Halloween is on Sunday. Kids and adults alike love the frivolity of Halloween with the special activities, costumes and goodies. Halloween also brings dangers.

The biggest threat to kids is from motor vehicles. Trick-or-treating usually takes place when it is dark, the sun will set at about 6 p.m. that day, so motorists will have a hard time seeing the trick-or-treaters. It is not uncommon for trick-or-treaters to run across streets or along sidewalks without being mindful to the traffic. And many costumes are black, so the kids wearing them are even more difficult to see. To make matters worse, masks tend to limit the wearer's vision. I read on "...that fatal accidents involving children crossing streets increase 4.5 times on Halloween night." That is a daunting figure that fully justifies all of us taking precautions!

Costumes should be as brightly colored as possible, LED lights are a great addition and whenever possible, parents with flashlights should accompany the kids. And it is not a bad idea to ensure that costumes are flame resistant and do not drag on the ground. Kids should be instructed to not dash into the street.

Another threat that reminds us of the sick elements of our society is the food/candy safety issue. Each year, there are instances across the country of people placing pins, razor blades, excrement, and poisons into the candy and other foods collected by trick-or-treaters. The first rule is to make sure that no food or candy is consumed prior to it being inspected. Even candy that looks to be in a sealed wrapper can be tampered with. The best bet is to accept and consume candy or other foods from trusted sources like neighbors and friends who are personally known.

Beware of older kids, and sometimes adults, robbing kids of their candy or otherwise harassing them. Have kids travel in groups under the direct supervision of adults who carry cell phones and flashlights. At least two adults should travel along with groups of children, as this alone will deter most all attempted robberies or assaults. If a crime does occur, be sure to call the police immediately. Keep in mind that Halloween is the one occasion when it is acceptable to wear a mask. Crooks know this and may take advantage.

For those who prefer a more secure environment, the City of Ceres is hosting a Halloween Festival at the Community Center, starting at 6 p.m., on Halloween evening.

I wish you all a fun and safe Halloween!