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If you’re looking for the Zombie Apocalypse, you might start in Lockhart, where this yard display greets visitors coming in from the road to San Marcos. Daily Record photo by Anita Miller

Be Scary Safe

Tips to avoid trouble for trick-or-treaters and more
Tuesday, October 30, 2018

It’s Halloween — that time of year when costumed children’s bags fill with treats and editor’s inboxes fill with stories about safety — for trick-or-treaters, their parents and drivers negotiating those same streets.

State Farm Insurance, for example, puts forth “16 ways to have a safer Halloween” while the Department of Public Safety advises much of the same but adds the basics like avoiding drinking while driving, visiting the registry of Texas’ registered sex offenders and tips on reporting any suspicious activity.

A lot of it boils down to common sense. For example:

  • Parents should always accompany young children who are going door-to-door and particular care should be taken during the “scariest hours” of 5 to 9 p.m. — the time most vehicle/pedestrian accidents occur.
  • Stick to neighborhoods with sidewalks, but if you must walk on the street stick to the far left, facing traffic. Prior to actually going out, practice procedures — look left, right and left again — for crossing streets.
  • Make sure costumes and footwear are properly sized so youngsters don’t trip. Face paint is preferable to masks because it doesn’t impair vision. To make kids even more visible, stick reflective tape on their costumes. Carrying a flashlight is also recommended.
  • Avoid costumes with toy guns, knives or swords as they could be mistaken for the real thing.
  • Monitor weather forecasts and plan accordingly.
  • Make sure children know their home number and how to call 911. Check all treats before allowing children to eat them.
  • If driving, be alert for trick-or-treaters, drive slowly and be extra careful at intersections.
  • Make doubly sure teenage drivers take extra care. Drivers aged 15-25 are the age group most likely to be involved in a fatal crash involving child pedestrians on Halloween.
  • Homes handing out treats should be brightly lit with sidewalks and steps clear of any debris or obstacles.
  • Keep pets kenneled or in another room.
  • Also, the Texas Sex Offender Registry is available online.

Criminal or suspicious activity can be reported to authorities online, or download the app for iWatch for iPhone and Android.