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Halloween should be fun, not tragic

Albany Herald Editorial: With kids focused on trick-or-treating, adults have to be alert

The practice of trick-or-treating is one that, in recent years, has appeared to be in decline. Of course, that’s pure conjecture, since we’re unaware of anyone who actually keeps any kind of statistics 0n the number of costumed kids who will be out in neighborhoods tonight seeking treats.

But regardless of whether the streets and sidewalks are full of pint-size Thors (a popular costume this year with both young boys and men) and Smurfettes (a top pick for girls, we understand) or there are only a few kids out, we hope that everyone will keep safety in mind.

This is especially true for motorists. The sun is setting much earlier, which means it will be more difficult to see pint-sized Supermen and Minions carrying bags and plastic pumpkins door-to-door for their annual haul of sugary treats. Halloween brings to mind images that are intended to be scary, but a brief second or two of not paying attention while behind the wheel of a car, even a slow-moving one, could result in real tragedy.

And while there are always safety precautions that responsible parents make their children engage in, kids are kids. Sometimes in the rush for another Snickers bar, it’s easy for a child to forget how difficult it is for him or her to be seen at dusk or later.

It’s an evening that demands that all adults involved take precautions, both for their children and for other children.

Parents, we hope, will accompany their kids on their rounds tonight. Reflective material on the costumes, ensuring that masks don’t obscure vision and taking a flashlight are all good ways to make sure the kids are seen. Parents going along also ensures that the children don’t go to strangers’ houses.

For adults who attend Halloween parties, don’t let the fun doesn’t lead to danger on the road. At parties where alcohol is being served, make sure someone sober is behind the wheel the car.

The ghosts and goblins that “haunt” the evening should be in the spirit of fun. Don’t let a bad decision or carelessness turn it into a real tragedy.

The Albany Herald Editorial Board