Cooperstown Crier - Your Source for Hometown News - Cooperstown, Baseball Hall of Fame

October 18, 2012

Our Opinon: Have a safe Halloween

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Cooperstown Crier

---- — Halloween is supposed to be a spooky night, but parents should not have to be scared about their kids’ safety.

The Fly Creek Cider Mill and Orchard is teaming with Safe Kids of Otsego County to help make sure the holiday outings are safer.

According to Safe Kids of Otsego County, over a recent five-year period, on average, twice as many child pedestrians have been killed on Halloween as have been killed on average throughout the rest of the year.

To promote Halloween safety, the Fly Creek Cider Mill and Orchard will host Safe Kids of Otsego County on Saturday and Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., providing safety tips, reflective zipper pulls and stickers to mill visitors.

To help make it a safe holiday we are using this space to share safety tips:

Safe Kids recommends that children younger than 10 do not trick-or-treat without adult supervision. If kids are mature enough to go trick-or-treating without supervision, make sure they go in a group and stick to a predetermined route with good lighting.

Parents should also remind kids to:

• Cross streets safely. Cross at a corner using crosswalks and obey traffic signals. Try to make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them. Look left, right and left again when crossing, and continue looking while crossing. Walk, don’t run, across the street.

• Walk on well-lit sidewalks or paths. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible. Children should walk in familiar areas with minimal street crossings.

• Be a safe pedestrian around cars. Watch for cars that are turning or backing up. Never dart out into the street or cross between parked cars.

Drivers need to do their part to keep trick-or-treaters safe from harm. Safe Kids also reminds motorists to be extra careful this Halloween and recommends that drivers:

• Be especially alert. Remember that popular trick-or-treating hours are during the typical rush-hour period between 5:30 to 9:30 p.m.

• Drive more slowly. Slow down and anticipate heavier than usual pedestrian traffic.

• Turn lights on. Be sure to drive with full headlights on so children can be spotted from greater distances.

Although pedestrian safety is the main concern on Halloween, parents also need to keep in mind that there are other hazards for their children on this holiday. Parents must check treats for choking hazards or signs of tampering before children are allowed to eat them. Safe Kids of Otsego County suggests that parents look for non-flammable costumes and non-toxic designations in Halloween makeup, and make sure their children wear well-fitting, sturdy shoes to prevent trips and falls.

Finally, children should only go to homes where the residents are known and where outside lights are on as a sign of welcome.