Tips to trick or treat safely in Summit County this Halloween
FRISCO — Despite the early season snow draped across the trees and sidewalks, it’s still October, and Halloween is fast approaching.
The holiday allows kids to dress up as their favorite movie characters or spooky spirits, and brings with it promises of classroom parties and candy riches. For adults, it’s often a chance to cut loose with friends, watch a scary movie or have a couple of drinks in celebration.
But regardless of your age, or your particular brand of frightful fun, it’s important to remember that safety should always come first. This Halloween, officials around the county are working hard to keep everyone safe, but there’s a lot that motorists and trick-or-treaters can do to help.
“It’s a big night for us,” Summit County Sheriff Jaime FitzSimons said. “It’s mainly keeping the community safe and making sure the kids have a fun and safe evening out there in those cold temperatures.”
For parents and kids, the biggest safety issue on Halloween is undoubtedly traffic. Kids are often dressed in dark clothing and excitedly darting from house to house for candy — a nightmare scenario for concerned parents and drivers in the area. According to Safe Kids Worldwide, a nonprofit dedicated to stopping preventable injuries to children, kids are more than twice as likely to be hit and killed by a car on Halloween than on any other day of the year.
But with some smart trick-or-treating adjustments, that risk can be drastically reduced. Kids and parents out and about on Thursday night should be sure to make themselves as visible as possible, wearing glow sticks, carrying flashlights and putting reflective tape on their costumes.
Parents also should remind their trick-or-treaters that even though it’s a special night, they still need to walk on sidewalks, use traffic signals and crosswalks, and look both ways before crossing the street.
“Anything to illuminate or reflect on your child’s costume is a good idea,” FitzSimons said. “But drivers especially should be paying attention and looking out for kids. They’re in these neighborhoods, and kids are excited about Halloween, and they’re not usually following their own safety rules instilled in them by their parents. They’re going with their friends and running through the streets and in between cars and stuff.”
There are some safe zones for trick-or-treating this Halloween. Frisco will be closing down Main Street from Madison Avenue to Seventh Avenue for Trick-or-Treat on Main Street from 5:30-8:30 p.m. on Halloween.
Breckenridge will be closing down a number of streets to help facilitate trick-or-treaters. In the Wellington Neighborhood, Wolff Lyon Road and upper Bridge Street will be closed from 4-8 p.m. at the request of the Wellington Neighborhood Association. High Street and Harris Street, along with related side streets, will be closed in the Historic District from 4-8 p.m., as well.
Residents and drivers should also expect to see increased patrols from the area’s police departments and Sheriff’s Office to help keep things safe.
“There’s a lot of safe venues for kids to go trick-or-treating,” FitzSimons said. “But we will have deputies out there on increased patrols, and we’ll have heightened DUI patrols out there because of the amount of adults out there celebrating Halloween. That’s another thing to look out for, and drivers need to also be watching out for people who have had one or two drinks too many. … But we’ll be out there providing for a safe evening for the community.”
Traffic isn’t the only safety concern for kids and adults indulging on the holiday, especially with temperatures expected to drop to the single digits Thursday night. Officials in the county are reminding anyone venturing outside to make sure they’re dressed warm and wearing shoes that can handle ice and snow.
Similarly, homeowners who intend to hand out candy should make sure to shovel and de-ice their sidewalks and make sure their walkways are illuminated.
Individuals heading to parties, bars or restaurants should take the time to make sure they have a ride home in lieu of braving the temperatures while inebriated.
“In the past, we’ve found people wandering through the snow who’ve had too much to drink,” FitzSimons said. “We’re going to have really cold temperatures and snow. It’s a real concern for both kids and people out celebrating.”
More safety tips:
- A responsible adult should accompany any young children while trick-or-treating
- Older kids going without an adult should agree with their guardian on a specific time to return home
- Kids going without adults also should stick with friends and only trick-or-treat in well-lit and familiar areas
- Kids should avoid costumes or masks that significantly obstruct their vision
- Kids should wait until they’re home to eat their treats, and parents should throw away any candy that has been previously opened
- While trick-or-treating, kids and adults should put down their phones and electronic devices and stay alert for traffic
Source: National Safety Council
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