Our Northwest

Keep your ghoul friends safe tomorrow

Thursday, October 30, 2014by  Jon Osterberg

Is Halloween as ghoulish as it used to be?
   That's what I wondered last Halloween as I drove through Eastside neighborhoods. Trick-or-treaters seemed few and far between. But Bellevue Square was a different story.
   I stopped there to buy a shirt and saw hordes of kids and adults in costume everywhere. I wondered, perhaps because of safety concerns, if Halloween is shifting from a neighborhood event to a mall party?
   Stay tuned. We're digging into this with real research and will report back.
   In the meantime, here are our tried-and-true Halloween safety tips, for those of you who plan to head out trick-or-treating tomorrow night:


  • Costumes: Make sure your kids choose a flame-retardant costume, and attach reflective tape to it. And make sure costumes are short enough to prevent tripping or entanglement (you just KNOW kids are going to be running from house to house!)
  • Around your home: Inspect your own yard, porch, and walkway to eliminate tripping hazards like rakes, hoses, toys, etc., and make sure your home and walkways are well-lit.
  • Trick-or-treating: Always accompany young kids on the entire trick-or-treat route. If your kids are older, talk to them about the route they should follow, and agree on a return time. Tell your kids to stop only at well-lit homes and never to enter a stranger’s home or car. And be sure to feed your kids before they go trick-or-treating, and tell them not to eat any treats until they return home.
  • Pets: Don't forget to secure your pets! They might be frightened by strange costumes and sounds.
  • On the road: Be extra cautious when driving. Watch for kids in dark clothing who might dart into your path. And park your personal vehicles in your garage or in a secure spot, if possible – car vandalism is highest on Halloween!


  • Be safe trick-or-treating: Carry a flashlight to see and be seen. Walk slowly and stay in a group. Be sure to cross the street only at corners, and stay on sidewalks -- don't cut across yards or driveways. Only walk up to homes that have a light on, and stay away from pets you don't know.
  • Costumes: Be extra careful when wearing masks, which can block your vision. Watch out for cars, in particular.
  • Wait to dig in to that candy! Let your parents examine your treats before you eat them. (And don't get mad if a few pieces seem to disappear after you go to bed. That's merely your parents ensuring your candy is safe. Actually, it might require SEVERAL pieces to assure them.)

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