There's no trick to having a safe Halloween "More and more, safety is becoming a growing concern during Halloween," said Cheri Cihak of AAA South Dakota.
"Children wearing costumes that may inhibit their vision or walking ability, darting between parked cars or racing across intersections to get to the next house, motorists driving during dusk and after dark possibly impairing the driver's ability to see children � safety is a huge concern, these being just a few examples."
Although Halloween has evolved over the years and continues to change with alternative methods to celebrate, some parents and children wish to continue with a traditional Halloween. Here are some safety "tricks" for a safer Halloween:
* Avoid wearing masks, as they block your vision; use makeup instead.
* Wear costumes light in color or, even better, something that is retro-reflective. Never wear anything that is dark in color or colors that make it difficult for a motorist to see you.
* Trick-or-treat during the daylight hours. If you must trick-or-treat at night, make sure you carry a flashlight with you.
* Cross the street carefully at corners � never in the middle of the block, especially between parked cars. Motorists may not see you in time to avoid hitting you.
* Travel with a parent, older brother or sister, or with a group of children.
* Choose a route that goes only through safe neighborhoods with well-lighted streets.
* Never enter a stranger's house, even if you're invited.
* Never eat the candy before an adult has a chance to check it first.
* Slow down; try driving 5 mph slower than the posted speed limit.
* Be extra alert to children crossing the street between parked cars or in the middle of the block.
* Turn your lights on. Even in daylight, lights will make you more visible.
* Arrive home a little earlier on Halloween. Make sure you have all your treats ready; doing so will avoid that last minute rush to the store.
"Parents should accompany young trick-or-treaters. Remember to plan your route before you start," Cihak said. "Also, if you decide to take your child to a local mall event, be aware of parking lot dangers. The mall parking lot may be crowded. It is important to use extra caution when entering and exiting parking spaces."
Free Halloween Safety Tips bookmarks and trick-or-treat bags are available for the asking at any AAA office in South Dakota, or by calling 1-800-222-4545. AAA treat bags help make children more visible when they're trick-or-treating, and the bookmarks help remind parents and children how to keep safe on Halloween.