Kids love the magic of Halloween, but there is a ghostly side we all want to avoid. Here are a few safety reminders for kids, parents and drivers. (These tips are brought to you by Joan Pletcher, who’s been the trusted expert for Ocala horse farms since 1985.)
- Parents — Plan your child’s route in advance and make sure you accompany your child. Remember your walking shoes! Pedestrian accidents increase in October, so be sure your child doesn’t dart into the road our leap out between cars. Carry a flashlight and stay on well-lit paths. Be sure you are visible to traffic at all times. If your older children are going alone, know their route and have an agreed upon time to return home.
- Kids – It’s important for your children to walk, not run, especially between houses or across the street. Be aware of your surroundings and avoid using mobile devices while walking. Travel in familiar, well-lit areas and please don’t trick or treat alone. Have reflective tape on your child’s costume for visibility. And, as hard as it may be, save the treats until you get home.
- Homeowners—The costumes, excitement of children is one of the best parts of Halloween. No one wants it spoiled by an accident. If an accident happens on your property, you could be liable. Be sure to clear your walkways and yard of debris. Make sure your walkways are well-lit and be especially careful with candles.
- Drivers – Neighborhoods are filled with distracted pedestrians and distracted drivers. October ranks as the #2 month for motor vehicle deaths, most of them to pedestrians. Most occur when children run or dart out into the road. Be aware of children. Enter and exit driveways carefully, especially at twilight and children wearing dark clothing.
Enjoy the season. The weather should be perfect, so be safe and have a great time!
Joan Pletcher has been a resident of Ocala and a local real estate broker since 1985. The Joan Pletcher Real Estate Network specializes horse farms, equestrian estates, training centers, and major parcels of Ocala land.