It’s October! And you know what that means … it means Halloween is just around the corner. This month, my posts to this column are going to focus on how you can celebrate Halloween here in Long Beach.
When I was kid, we thought nothing of going door to door and taking all the candy, cupcakes and other goodies we could get. Then kids started getting hurt as razor blades showed up in the Halloween treats. Now, Halloween is much different.
But it can still be safe. Here are some safety tips that, along with some common sense, can keep you and your children safe during the Halloween season.
Make sure your chidren are participating in activities that are appropriate to their age. What can be scary fun for one child, can be a nightmare-inducing terrifying experience for another.
Make sure that an adult you trust accompanies your children at all times.
Is the light on?
Only go to well-lit homes and never go into a stranger’s house.
Obey pedestrian traffic laws.
Stay on the sidewalk and only cross at corners.
Safety in numbers.
Stay in well populated areas and don’t even think of cutting through alleys or parks.
Halloween costumes are often black or dark, which makes it hard for drivers to see costumed kids. Help them out by applying reflective tape to your child’s costume or use glow sticks.
Carry a flashlight.
Reflective stickers and glow sticks aren’t enough. You need to see where you’re going and can’t depend on street lights.
Keep your kid’s vision clear.
Painting their face is always better than a mask because many masks obstruct vision.
Just like you would a family road trip, map your route ahead of time.
Realism can go too far.
Make sure that the props your kids are carrying have dull, smooth edges. You don’t want your little devil getting hurt on his costume’s pitchfork! And your little Xena should be able to cut with her sword, either.
Watch out for animals.
Keep your pet indoors and be cautious around neighborhood animals. Events on Halloween can spook even the calmest of pets, making them unpredictably dangerous.
Is it a trick or a treat?
Don’t leave this to chance. Inspect your children’s candy before allowing them to eat it.
Bring a cell phone.
Be sure to program the Long Beach Police Department’s Communication Center’s non-emergency phone number, (562) 435-6711, into your phone so you can report any suspicious or illegal activity immediately. And, of course, 911 works for emergencies!
Keep the curfew!
The curfew law in Long Beach prohibits anyone 17 years old or younger from being out past 10pm without a parent or guardian, unless going to or returning home from work or an organized event supervised by an adult, without any detour or stop.
Have a safe, fun, and happy Haloween!
Do you see the world through genre-coloured glasses? For more science fiction, fantasy and horror news and information — with a travel twist — check out The Genre Traveler, the travel resource for science fiction, fantasy and horror fans, at www.thegenretraveler.com.