It's safe to say that our youngsters will be more than ready to hit the streets later today for trick-or-treat hours. Mother Nature added a twist to the Halloween season this year in the form of a massive storm, better known as Hurricane Sandy. We were luckier than our fellow Americans along the Eastern Shore of the United States, as the remnants of Sandy didn't produce the the high winds and large rainfall, locally, as predicted.
The forecast did postpone the annual trick-or-treat hours - for most of our area - from Wednesday, Halloween day, to today.
So with that, we would like to offer a few tips in an effort to make it a safe holiday.
Costumes should be bright, perhaps reflective, so our youngsters can be seen. Have them carry flashlights or glow sticks.
Don't add accessories that hamper their ability to move, and if a mask is used make sure it's one in which the child can see through without any obstruction.
Parents actually need to plan a trick-or-treat route and supervision in advance. They should avoid areas with heavy traffic and look for well-lit streets, and an adult or responsible teen should accompany a child.
We suggest children, if possible, go house to house in groups, and in rural areas where there aren't sidewalks, children and adults accompanying them should walk on the left side of the road facing traffic. It also is important to note that children should stay in familiar neighborhoods and only visit homes where a porch light is on. And at the end of the evening when the children return home with bags of candy, parents should inspect the candy, and anything that looks suspicious should be thrown out.
Local police and law enforcement agencies will be patrolling, and fire departments also will be on hand to offer assistance, but they can't be everywhere.
Motorists, too, should exercise extreme caution during trick-or-treat hours. Drive slower to prevent accidents should you need to be on the streets during this time. Always err on the side of caution. Don't assume a child won't dart out into the street. Be on the lookout.
This could be a scary night for pedestrians and motorists if safety precautions aren't followed.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, children are more likely to be injured or killed by traffic on Halloween than any other day of the year. Statistics from the U.S. Department of Transportation show that between 2006-10, more pedestrians younger than 21 were killed by cars on Oct. 31 than on Oct. 30 or Nov. 1.
Our celebration may be on Nov. 3, but you get the point.
So this year, following some extra common sense rules should ensure a safe and happy Halloween for everyone.