The Coast News Group
Community CommentaryOpinion

Halloween should be fun and safe

By Mike Stein and Madeleine Baudoin

Here’s a scary statistic:  Most families think it will never happen to them, but according to the National Safety Council, twice as many children get hit by cars walking on Halloween, more than any other day of the year.

One of the best ways to protect you and your family against an accident on Halloween is to talk to your family about traffic and pedestrian safety before trick-or-treating – especially at dusk when pedestrians are often invisible like ghosts:

Traffic and Pedestrian Safety:

  • Anyone who plans to be driving in a neighborhood during trick-or-treat hours should watch diligently for children walking on roadways, medians, curbs and driveways.
  • Always remember to look left, right and left again before crossing a street. Always remain alert until you are safely across the street.
  • Walk on sidewalks whenever they are available and cross at street corners, using crosswalks and obey traffic signals.
  • If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic and never assume a driver sees you.
  • Be predictable. Put down the phone while trick-or-treating so you don’t get distracted.

Another important reminder: when making or purchasing your Halloween costume, be sure to choose a costume that won’t cause any safety hazards. Remember, you can still look great on Halloween and remain safe:

Costume Safety:

  • Non-toxic makeup or decorative hats are safer than masks, which can limit or block eyesight.
  • All costumes, wigs and accessories should be fire-resistant.
  • Wear good-fitting costumes and shoes to avoid trips and falls.
  • Fasten reflective tape to your costume and carry a flashlight for better nighttime visibility.

Lastly, on Oct. 26, the Solana Beach Fire Department will host its own open house from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.  The event will include a haunted ambulance, Halloween Safety Kits for kids, as well as fire prevention tips.

We hope you’ll take this opportunity to learn more about the importance of smoke alarms, and meet the firefighters, paramedics and EMT’s in your neighborhood who work every day of the year to keep you and your family safe.

We wish you a very fun and safe Halloween!

Stein is the fire chief of Encinitas.  Baudoin is the Government and Public Affairs Manager for American Medical Response.