Halloween safety

All Hallows' Eve is upon us. Whether you regard the end-of-October holiday as a way to celebrate completing the fall harvest, as a time when the worlds of the living and the dead overlap, or simply an excuse to wear costumes and demand candy from your neighbors, there's no mistaking the enthusiasm kids of all ages display on Halloween.

Streets and sidewalks throughout every community will be busier than usual as trick-or-treaters make their rounds. It is because of the increased activity that caution and safety are encouraged every year at this time. The non-profit group Safe Kids Kansas says that on average, children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a vehicle and killed on Halloween than on any other day of the year.

That is worth taking note of, even if you don't have children out trick-or-treating. In that spirit, we offer a few tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics. Precautionary steps need to be taken by all to ensure a safe Halloween.

Children:

* Utilize costumes that fit and are bright, or have reflective tape added for greater visibility.

* Carry flashlights if still out after dark.

* Use sidewalks and cross streets either at intersections or recognized crosswalks.

* Only go to homes with a porch light on and never enter a home or car for a treat.

* Wait until you get home before eating any treats.

Home-owners:

* Remove any items on your property leading up to the front door that a child could trip over such as garden hoses, toys, bikes and lawn decorations.

* Check outdoor lights and replace burned-out bulbs.

* Wet leaves or snow should be swept from sidewalks and steps.

* Restrain pets so they do not inadvertently jump on or bite a trick-or-treater.

It appears the weather might cooperate for a dry, breezy and clear Halloween night. That will help on this exciting holiday. Do your part to ensure the only thing scary about All Hallows' Eve is the multitude of goblins, witches and skeletons scurrying about.

Editorial by Patrick Lowry

plowry@dailynews.net