As children throughout our communities prepare for Halloween, Oyster Bay Town Supervisor Joseph Saladino and Councilwoman Michele Johnson advise parents, drivers and trick-or-treaters to take some basic precautions to ensure a safe outing. Trick-or-treaters are especially at risk for pedestrian injury as they are more likely to cross streets in the middle of the block rather than at corners or crosswalks. As the increase in pedestrian traffic may cause distractions, Supervisor Saladino and Councilwoman Johnson urge drivers to be on alert, proceed slowly through local streets and obey all traffic signs and signals.
Parents with small children and teens walking door-to-door should travel up one side of the street and down the other, making sure to cross at the corner or crosswalk. Trick-or-Treating in groups in well-lit neighborhoods will increase visibility and walking on the sidewalk, rather than cutting across yards or driveways, will mean less chance of stumbling and falling. Children should never go inside the home of a stranger, but rather accept treats outside the door. Children should not eat any candy until they get home and their parents/guardians have inspected the treats.
Supervisor Saladino and Councilwoman Johnson recommend costumes that are brightly colored and can be more easily seen, as well as shoes that fit properly. Masks that obstruct vision should be avoided as well as costumes that drag on the ground. Always carry a flashlight at night. Wearing a watch that can be read in the dark is helpful and older children, who are not being escorted by an adult, should carry a cell phone along with some form of identification.
Parents should know exactly where their children are going to be on Halloween, when they should be heading home, and a detailed description of what they are wearing. Homeowners should make sure their yards are clear of any item that could create an obstacle or danger; such as a ladder, hose, dog leash or flowerpot.
Pets may become frightened or agitated by the bell ringing or door knocking as well as strangers approaching the house, so homeowners should keep pets inside and protected.