Goblins and ghouls, ghost stories and graveyards might strike terror into the hearts of children, but they may not be the scariest parts of Halloween.
According to a study by the Safe Kids Fayette County Program, twice as many pedestrians are killed on trick-or-treat night than on any other day of the year.
Here are some tips from local law enforcement officers on how to keep kids safe.
“It’s a good idea for kids to carry glow sticks, and even to go in groups with a large number of adults,” said Deputy Willard Reardon, spokesperson for the Madison County Sheriff’s Office.
Another good idea is for kids to carry flashlights, said Capt. Ken Clark of the Berea Police Department.
“People will see the beam of light and be aware of the kids’ presence,” he said. “Plus, if they’re going up a dark sidewalk, the flashlight will help.”
Reardon said kids also should go to areas they are familiar with. He encourages parents to consider taking their kids to one of the local churches or stores that have trick-or-treating.
“Those places are safe,” he said.
Small children should not be allowed to go to a door alone, Clark said.
And parents should always check their kids’ candy stashes when they get home. They should throw away any pieces that show signs of tampering, Reardon said.
If kids wear masks, the eye holes should be big enough they can see well through them, and they should be guided by an adult, the deputy said.
Though he has not noticed an increase in car accidents in the past, Reardon said he always encourages drivers to be extra careful during trick-or-treat.
“We ask that drivers be very visual and aware of what’s going on around them,” he said.
Clark agreed that motorists need to be patient and observant.
“Small children don’t always understand the ramifications of darting out in the street,” he said. “Be prepared for one of the little goblins to jump out in front of you.”
Kelly McKinney can be reached at email@example.com or 624-6694.