A safe Halloween is everyone’s responsibility

WEST ORANGE, NJ — Halloween is an annual fall ritual filled with fun, but don’t let the festive nature compromise safety, warns a township press release. Being aware of important tips to follow is everyone’s responsibility. Trick-or-treaters, parents and motorists all play a role and are encouraged to do their part. Here are a few reminders, but exercising common sense is the best approach to maximize enjoyment and minimize the potential dangers. 

For motorists: 

  • Slow down in residential neighborhoods and obey all traffic signs and signals. Drive at least 5 mph below the posted speed limit to give yourself extra time to react to children who may dart into the street. 
  • Watch for children walking on roadways, medians and curbs, and crossing streets. In dark costumes, they’ll be harder to see at night and they may not be paying attention. 
  • Carefully enter and exit driveways and alleys. Turn on your headlights to make yourself more visible, even in the daylight. 

For parents:

  • Ensure an adult or older responsible youth is available to supervise children ages 12 and younger. 
  • Plan and discuss the route your trick-or-treaters will follow. Establish a time to return home. 
  • Instruct children to travel only in familiar areas and along established routes. 
  • Teach children to stop only at well-lit houses and never to enter a stranger’s home or garage. 
  • Instruct children not to eat any treats until they get home. 
  • Make sure Halloween costumes are flame-retardant and visible with retroreflective material. 

For trick-or-treaters:

  • Wear costumes that don’t obstruct vision, and avoid facemasks. Instead, use nontoxic face paint. Also, watch the length of billowy costumes to avoid tripping. 
  • Ensure any props are flexible and blunt-tipped to avoid injury from tripping or horseplay. 
  • Carry a flashlight with fresh batteries, and place it face down in the treat bucket to free up one hand. Never shine it into the eyes of oncoming drivers. 
  • Stay on sidewalks and avoid walking in streets if possible. 
  • If there are no sidewalks, walk on the left side of the road, facing traffic. 
  • Look both ways and listen for traffic before crossing the street. 
  • Cross streets only at the corner, and never cross between parked vehicles or mid-block. 
  • Trick-or-treat in a group if someone older cannot go with you. 
  • Tell your parents where you are going. 

Have a happy and safe Halloween!