Halloween safety tips, advice

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By The Staff

Like it or not, trick-or-treaters will be running around Wednesday evening. We need to make it as safe a time as possible.

Halloween is a time of fun for children, but it can be a scary for parents and drivers. Children are often out after dark, crossing busy streets and perhaps going to unfamiliar homes.

This year, with Halloween falling on a school day, drivers need to be particularly cautious.

But some simple tips can help parents, children, drivers and homeowners have a safe, time.

• If children are out at night, drivers need to be particularly careful at dusk and when driving either over a hill or around a curve, where visibility is limited. Use high beams to see and be seen.

• Trick-or-treaters should always be accompanied by an adult or travel in a group. Children should be told not to eat any unwrapped candy or treats until they return home where their parents can see them. Making sure kids have already eaten before heading out may help.

• Parents may want to limit kids to local events run by police stations, firehouses, senior citizen centers or local businesses, or organize their own through their school.

• Parents should incorporate reflective tape in costumes or add bright colors to increase visibility. Make-up rather than masks should be worn to help ensure that children have an unobstructed view of their surroundings.

• Trick-or-treaters may be caught up in the excitement of the day and not be as careful as they should. They should always cross at corners and look both ways before crossing. Drivers need to keep a careful eye on the road and on the sidewalk, in case anyone darts out from between parked cars.

• Children should stay on the sidewalk or if none is available, walk facing the lane of traffic, and they should carry flashlights.

• Homeowners should clear their yards of anything that can be tripped over and be sure to have a front door or walkway light on, and refrain from decorations that use an open flame that could ignite a child's costume.

Fall back

Well, it is nearly that time of year again - daylight saving is here again.

On Sunday, Nov. 4, we will all need to turn our clocks back an hour.

Beginning in 2007, most of the United States began Daylight Saving Time at 2 a.m. on the second Sunday in March and we are reverting to standard time the first Sunday in November. So next Sunday, it is fall back.

Oh, and by the way, in 2008 we will spring forward March 9 and fall back Nov. 2.