PICKENS COUNTY — Halloween is just around the corner and soon the streets will be filled with little kids dressed up as all matter of ghosts and witches, clowns and super heroes.
But as Trunk-or-Treats become more popular, people tend to forget there is a die-hard group of traditionalists who prefer to gather their candy the old fashioned way, door to door.
Which ever way you and your family decides to grab the holiday loot, the American Red Cross has some safety tips people can follow to help stay safe this Halloween while still enjoying all of the festivities.
For parents, let’s start with the basics: Use only flame-resistant costumes. This should be a no-brainer but you know someone, somewhere, decided it was a great idea to send their kid out as a Roman candle or something or else it wouldn’t have been number one on the list. Do do that.
Moving on …
Planning the Trick-or-Treat route is a good way to not only map out the best neighborhoods to hit, but it also makes sure adults know where children are going.
Remember, don’t just set them loose, especially little kids. A parent or responsible adult should accompany young children as they make their way around the neighborhood.
Making sure Trick-or Treaters can see — and be seen — is also a good idea. Give children a flashlight to light their way, add reflective tape to costumes and Trick-or-Treat bags or have everyone wear light-colored clothing to be seen. Many stores carry those glow sticks this time of year that can be turned into fun bracelets and necklaces as well.
The Red Cross also suggests instead of masks (which can cover the eyes and make it hard to see) use face paint instead.
Be cautious around animals, especially dogs. OK. This is an important one. Remember, you’re dressed up in weird clothing — even the friendliest dog might be a little nervous around a kid in a mask. Pet the dog later.
Halloween etiquette states you only visit the homes that have a porch light on but remember to accept treats at the door – never go inside. For real.
Walk only on the sidewalks, not in the street and if no sidewalk is available, walk at the edge of the roadway, facing traffic. Look both ways before crossing the street and cross only at the corner. Don’t cut across yards or use alleys. Don’t cross between parked cars.
Got it? Good.
Finally, make sure a grown-up checks the goodies before eating. (Make sure to remove loose candy, open packages and choking hazards.) Parents, this is your chance to confiscate any pieces you might be eyeing for yourself under the guise of safety. Does that Snickers look a little suspicious? I think it does …
Reach Kasie Strickland at 864-855-0355.