ST. CHARLES– It’s that time of year again when spooky specters and playful ghouls roam the streets, and children eagerly dash from door to door to fill their candy buckets. Halloween is a time for fun, but it’s crucial to keep safety a top priority, especially when families are out trick-or-treating.

The American Red Cross offers some simple and effective tips to ensure a safe and enjoyable Halloween season for everyone.

1. Keep an Eye on Your Little Goblins

As the days grow shorter and darkness arrives earlier, it’s essential to keep a close watch on your children. Make sure they’re visible to others, especially motorists. Consider dressing them in reflective clothing or adding reflective accessories to their costumes.

Sharon Watson from the American Red Cross advises, “We also want to keep in mind the fact that people need to see children after dark. So, try to put something on them that is reflective.”

2. Hand Hygiene Matters

In this age of COVID-19 and the flu, packing hand sanitizer is a smart move. Encourage your children to sanitize their hands frequently while trick-or-treating to prevent the spread of germs.

3. Stay on the Sidewalk

To stay safe, stick to the sidewalk whenever possible. If you must venture into the street, ensure you walk as far over as possible and always face oncoming traffic. This makes you visible to drivers and provides you with the opportunity to react quickly.

Sharon Watson advises, “If you do have to be in the street, make sure you are as far over as possible and facing traffic when you are walking. In that way, cars can see you, and you have an opportunity farther away from them or to get away from them.”

4. Be Considerate and Cautious

Be considerate of others while trick-or-treating. Visit homes with a porch light on to indicate they are welcoming trick-or-treaters. Accept treats at the door, and never leave children unattended. It’s advisable to have a parent or responsible adult present, especially with younger children.

After the Halloween activities, ensure that an adult checks all candy before children indulge in it. Sharon Watson offers this advice: “Make sure that the wrappers are all consistent with how they would look if they were in the store and you purchased them new. Make sure nothing has been tampered with and just be careful with any items where something could be tampered with, like an apple that could have something inserted in it.”

Following these simple steps can ensure a safe and enjoyable trick-or-treating experience for you and your family. Happy Halloween!