Halloween is a night when witches, zombies, werewolves and other mysterious creatures come out to prowl the streets, but the dangers children and adults face aren’t from the monsters.
“Consider this, Halloween is the deadliest day of the year for pedestrians under the age of 18,” said Tech. Sgt. Elliott Velez, 56th Fighter Wing ground safety NCO in charge. “An analysis of data shows the number of fatalities for this age group doubles on Oct. 31.”
Children and adults alike should be cautious when crossing streets, especially at night, said Ben Bruce, 56th FW ground safety manager.
“Be cognizant of the traffic around you and make sure children age 12 and younger are watched by a responsible adult,” he said.
Additionally, one should also have a “safe” costume.
“If you buy your child a mask, make sure they can see through the mask, and by this I mean the eyes should be wide,” Bruce said. “Also your children’s costumes should have some reflective material and should not drag on the ground since this could be a tripping hazard.”
Children’s costume accessories such as a sword, hammer or light saber should be made out of rubber or thin plastic to prevent injuries from occurring, Bruce said.
A good rule of thumb for knowing which houses are participating in the Halloween festivities is making sure the porch light is on, he said.
Parents should also tell children to not eat any candy until it’s been inspected.
“Once you’re home, sift through the candy and make sure it’s wrapped and there is no evidence of tampering,” Bruce said. “Also watch for candies that your child may be allergic to. If you receive fruit, check the skin for damage and before consumption, wash it in water.”
For adults 21 and over, Bruce advises to enjoy the spirit of Halloween but not so much the “spirits” of the holiday.
“Enjoy the activities but don’t overindulge, especially if you’re driving home,” Bruce said. “Always have a plan. Use the rule of zero underage drinking, zero driving under the influence, one drink per hour and three drinks maximum. This will help prevent you from binge drinking.”
Another family friendly alternative to Halloween is Hallelujah Night 6 to 9 p.m. Nov. 1 at the Luke Air Force Base Community Chapel. The event is free and includes food, candy and activities including face painting, a rock wall, a pony carousel and a bouncy castle.
Trick-or-treat hours in base housing are 6 to 8 p.m. Oct. 31. For more information concerning safety issues on Halloween, call wing safety at 623-856-6104.