The following is a lightly edited press release from the City of Santa Monica.
As we approach Halloween, Tuesday October 31st and Dia de los Muertos on Wednesday, November 1st, it is important to remember that along with candy, costumes and a good scare, safety should remain at the top of the list. SMPD encourages everyone to have a fun and safe holiday by following these important safety tips.
• Slow down and be especially alert in residential neighborhoods. Children are excited on Halloween and may move in unpredictable ways.
• Take extra time to look for kids at intersections, on medians and on curbs.
• Enter and exit driveways and alleys slowly and carefully.
• Eliminate any distractions inside your car so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings.
• Drive slowly, anticipate heavy pedestrian traffic and turn your headlights on earlier in the day to spot children from greater distances.
• Cross the street at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks.
• Look left, right and left again when crossing and keep looking as you cross.
• Put electronic devices down and keep heads up and walk, don’t run, across the street.
• Teach children to make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them.
• Watch for cars that are turning or backing up. Teach children to never dart out into the street or cross between parked cars.
Plan Activities Wisely
• Provide adult supervision at all times for the youngest of your group.
• Remind older children that if not with an adult, to stay together and look out for each other.
• Avoid alleys or shortcuts and stay on parent/guardian approved routes.
• Attend a City sponsored event like the Police Activities League Spooktacular Event that provides a family safe activity (http://www.smpal.org/).
Keep Costumes Both Creative and Safe
• Decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers and, if possible, choose light colors.
• Have kids carry glow sticks or flashlights to help them see and be seen by drivers.
• When selecting a costume, make sure it is the right size to prevent trips and falls.
• Avoid costumes the include makeshift or replica weapons.