Our Northwest

Safety tips for Saturday’s wet, dark Halloween

Tuesday, October 27, 2015by  Jon Osterberg

Our dream summer is long past. It’s going to be a wet Halloween!
     I checked the forecasts, and it’s supposed to rain or shower Saturday all over the Northwest except for near Medford and a few spots east of the Cascades.
     West of the mountains? Wet, from Bellingham to Eugene. Spokane? Wet. Yakima? Wet.
     You’ve likely seen Halloween safety tips like ours, which echo common advice. But I offer a few that are less common and super relevant for trick-or-treating under dark, rainy skies that hamper visibility.

  • Be sure to fasten reflective tape to costumes and bags. It helps drivers see the kids.
  • Give kids a flashlight or a glow stick to hold while they scamper door to door. It makes them conspicuous. And what young child doesn’t like waving a flashlight or glow stick? If it helps the kid to see, that’s a bonus.
  • Don’t let kids carry a smartphone in their hand while roaming about. It’s a distraction, and they need to keep their heads up to watch for cars (or creepy strangers). Stuff the phone away in a pocket.
  • Drivers too, for this one night anyway – put your electronic devices down. Seriously. Zero distractions!
  • Be especially alert for kids crossing mid-block or darting out from parked cars. They’re excited and acting impulsively.
  • Do you drive an electric car? You, in particular, need to slow down. Your vehicle is so quiet, kids might be oblivious you’re even there.
  • Don't pass stopped vehicles. The other driver might be stopping for kids to cross, or dropping off children.

If the weather looks too dismal for fun trick-or-treating, consider joining the 24% of Northwest neighbors who go to a mall or store for Halloween, as revealed in our latest PEMCO Poll.

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