Halloween is coming up this Sunday night, so here are some tips for parents to ensure a safe trick-or-treat night.

1. Have children wear costumes which are light in color, short enough to prevent tripping and nonflammable. For greater visibility, the costumes can be decorated with reflective tape or bands so that they “glow” in the beam of a car’s headlights.

2. Urge motorists to exercise extreme caution on trick-or-treat day, especially during the hours your community has selected. 

3. Avoid Halloween masks for youngsters. Masks restrict vision; colorful facial makeup can be used instead. 

4. Children should carry flashlights after dark. If a pumpkin is carried, it should be lit with a flashlight, not a candle.

5. Encourage trick-or-treat participation by young children only. Youngsters older than 13 years of age should be discouraged from taking part. 

6. Suggest that children’s trick-or-treat lists be confined to their own neighborhood. 

7. Make sure parents or other responsible adults accompany young children on their trick-or-treat rounds.

8. Have your children wait until they get home to taste their treats rather than eat the goodies while they are on the route. 

9. Ask neighbors to give children only wrapped or sealed treats.

10. Ask residents who wish to participate in the Halloween festivities to keep their porch lights on. Likewise, advise children to visit only lighted houses.

11. Promote the basic pedestrian rules of the National Safety Council, including:

• Cross only at corners, never between parked cars, never diagonally across an intersection.

• Look in all directions before crossing the street.

• Watch for and obey all traffic lights.

• Walk, never run, across the street.

• Use sidewalks, not the street, for walking.

• Wait on the curb, not in the street, until the street is clear to cross.

Jessie M. Lewis is the John Day American Legion Auxiliary chairperson for children and youth.

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