Tips for safe Halloween offered
Local officials are urging adults and children to follow a few simple tips this weekend to have a safe and happy Halloween.
The Cape Coral Police Department, Lee Memorial Health System and the Lee County Chapter of the American Red Cross have each offered suggestions to keep one’s holiday as accident-free as possible, whether escorting little ones for some trick or treating or getting behind the wheel to drive somewhere.
LMHS officials are asking motorists to keep an eye out for children and drive slowly, especially in residential areas. Drivers have a 15 percent chance of killing a pedestrian if they hit one while traveling at 20 mph, and a 45 percent chance if they are traveling at 30 mph.
Popular trick-or-treating hours are between 5:30 and 9:30 p.m.
Stay alert, and watch for children at intersections and along curbs and roadways without sidewalks. LMHS also recommends avoiding distractions like talking on a cell phone, texting, changing CDs or eating while driving.
Officials at the CCPD reported that trick-or-treaters should stay in groups and parents should accompany young children. Make sure costumes are made of flame-retardant materials and keep them short to prevent children from falling down. Try makeup in place of a mask, which can obstruct one’s vision.
Families can map out a trick-or-treat route for older children and everyone should have a flashlight if out past dusk, according to the local American Red Cross. Children should know to accept treats at the door — to never ever go inside — and to have a grown-up inspect their candy before they eat any.
On inspection, adults should remove any open packages or choking hazards.
Parents should make sure children wear light-colored clothing or reflective material, which is more visible in the dark, the American Red Cross reported. Children should stick to well-lit homes with their outdoor lights on, and they also should know to use sidewalks, not the street, and to look both ways.
LMHS suggests walking toward oncoming traffic if there are no sidewalks.
The Lee County Sheriff’s Office recommended that parents make a map of their trick-or-treat route and check it against the sex offender database.
Law enforcement also is encouraging motorists to plan a safe way home before the festivities begin and to designate a sober driver before drinking. Avoid impaired driving by using a taxi or public transportation, or calling a sober friend or family member.
Today through Sunday, motorists can also call AAA Auto Club South at (800) AAA-HELP (222-4357) for a free ride and a free tow home under its “Tow to Go” program. The program is open to AAA members as well as non-members.