Have a safe, fun time -- and be careful -- tonight

Posted: Friday, October 31, 2008

Goblins, ghouls and ghosts will be out and about tonight -- along with plenty of kids and adults looking for an enjoyable Halloween evening. Let's make sure all the scares are in good fun, and that everyone who ventures out makes it home safely.

One of the great things about living in a small community is that we all look out for each other, and tonight should be no exception. Keep an eye out for trick-or-treaters as you drive home, and if you're planning to take your kids door to door, make sure they're dressed for the weather and know the rules for staying safe.

Sgt. Robb Quelland of the Soldotna Police Department recommends trick-or-treaters stick to the well-lit areas in the more heavily-traveled portions of the city. He also suggested families establish a meeting place and a meeting time, just in case kids are separated in the crowds.

If you have older children, make sure you know where they're planning to go, and what they're planning to do when they get there.

Kenai police offer these tips for kids and adults to stay safe this Halloween:

* Go trick-or-treating with a parent, guardian or a grown-up that's been approved by your parents.

* Wear reflective clothing.

* Wear warm boots and warm clothing. It is usually cold this time of year.

* Watch out for cars. They may not be able to see you very clearly.

* Walk on the sidewalk, unless there isn't one. If not, walk on the side of the roadway.

* Always carry a flashlight or reflective chemical light.

* Don't go inside a stranger's home.

* Don't walk across people's yards. Use their pathway or walkway.

* Don't run. Running is a dangerous thing on Halloween night because costumes don't always fit right and you may trip and fall.

* If you are wearing a face mask, be especially careful. Masks can make it difficult to see and hear.

* Walk in groups of people for personal safety.

* Don't accept unwrapped candy or baked goods.

* Have your parents look at your candy before you eat any of it.

If you're headed to an adult party, whether in a private home or at a public establishment, use common sense. If you're planning on drinking, call a cab or designate a driver. If fellow partygoers have had too much, do what it takes to make sure they get home safely. If you need to, stay the night.

Quelland said public safety officers will be treating tonight just like New Year's Eve. The department is using a highway safety grant to have two additional officers on patrol, in addition to the usual Friday night staffing. The Kenai police also will have extra officers on the street.

"Due to it falling on Friday night, our social environment will be heavily crowded," Quelland said.

He asked that partygoers be tolerant of others, too. Like New Year's Eve, there will be plenty of people who don't normally go out to bars mixing with the usual Friday night crowd. A little understanding and patience can make the night fun for all.

Halloween can be a great evening for everyone, from our kids trick-or-treating in our neighborhoods to adults enjoying some grown-up fun. Please, look out for each other and make sure Halloween doesn't turn into a nightmare.

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