On a dark scary night

By Kimberly Jenkins - kjenkins@aimmediamidwest.com

Stay Puft Marshmallow Man (Dillon Slone) terrorizes the village.

Stay Puft Marshmallow Man (Dillon Slone) terrorizes the village.

Kids riding in a wagon Trick or Treating, a great safe way to go. Jeter, Ryker, and Napoli Dekarske

Scary, eerie, creepy, bloody, are all words that are usually associated with Halloween, but what may be forgotten in all this creep fest is all the fun and memories that is the best part of Halloween. Think back on the times when one was young and how many memories can be drummed up from those wonderful times. Times have not changed that much as far as the joy Trick or Treating brings.

This year’s trick or treating will have costumes of all kinds, children of all ages, and an overall sense of scare and excitement. Along with this thought, it is a good idea to remember that safety should be first and foremost. The American Academy of Pediatrics have listed the following tips to help ensure that it is a safe holiday:


Plan costumes that are bright and reflective. Make sure that shoes fit well and that costumes are short enough to prevent tripping, entanglement or contact with flame.

Consider adding reflective tape or striping to costumes and trick-or-treat bags for greater visibility.

Because masks can limit or block eyesight, consider non-toxic makeup and decorative hats as safer alternatives. Hats should fit properly to prevent them from sliding over eyes. Makeup should be tested ahead of time on a small patch of skin to ensure there are no unpleasant surprises on the big day.

When shopping for costumes, wigs and accessories look for and purchase those with a label clearly indicating they are flame resistant.

If a sword, cane, or stick is a part of your child’s costume, make sure it is not sharp or long. A child may be easily hurt by these accessories if he stumbles or trips.

Do not use decorative contact lenses without an eye examination and a prescription from an eye care professional. While the packaging on decorative lenses will often make claims such as “one size fits all,” or “no need to see an eye specialist,” obtaining decorative contact lenses without a prescription is both dangerous and illegal. This can cause pain, inflammation, and serious eye disorders and infections, which may lead to permanent vision loss.

Review with children how to call 9-1-1 (or their local emergency number) if they ever have an emergency or become lost.


To keep homes safe for visiting trick-or-treaters, parents should remove from the porch and front yard anything a child could trip over such as garden hoses, toys, bikes and lawn decorations.

Parents should check outdoor lights and replace burned-out bulbs.

Wet leaves should be swept from sidewalks and steps.

Restrain pets so they do not inadvertently jump on or bite a trick-or-treater.


A parent or responsible adult should always accompany young children on their neighborhood rounds.

Obtain flashlights with fresh batteries for all children and their escorts.

If your older children are going alone, plan and review the route that is acceptable to you. Agree on a specific time when they should return home.

Only go to homes with a porch light on and never enter a home or car for a treat.

Because pedestrian injuries are the most common injuries to children on Halloween, remind Trick-or-Treaters:

Stay in a group and communicate where they will be going.

Remember reflective tape for costumes and trick-or-treat bags.

Carry a cellphone for quick communication.

Remain on well-lit streets and always use the sidewalk. Teens deserve to have fun on Halloween.

If no sidewalk is available, walk at the far edge of the roadway facing traffic.

Never cut across yards or use alleys.

Only cross the street as a group in established crosswalks (as recognized by local custom). Never cross between parked cars or out driveways.

Don’t assume the right of way. Motorists may have trouble seeing Trick-or-Treaters. Just because one car stops, doesn’t mean others will!

Law enforcement authorities should be notified immediately of any suspicious or unlawful activity.


A good meal prior to parties and trick-or-treating will discourage youngsters from filling up on Halloween treats.

Consider purchasing non-food treats for those who visit your home, such as coloring books or pens and pencils.

Wait until children are home to sort and check treats. Though tampering is rare, a responsible adult should closely examine all treats and throw away any spoiled, unwrapped or suspicious items.

Try to ration treats for the days and weeks following Halloween. ©2017 American Academy of Pediatrics

The Captain of Fire Prevention Office at the Portsmouth Fire Department, Jared Canter, said, ” trick or treaters should be noticable, whether they wear glow items or something is reflectablee and that will show up in the dark.”

Drivers need to remember to drive slower and more cautiously. Adults need to stay off the phones and keep an eye on the kids for that short period of time. And, everyone out there on this notoriously scary night, need to be much more aware of everything around them. Halloween is for fun and it’s important to be cautious and have a blast at the same time.

Don’t forget the special needs kids, some don’t like costumes, some have sensory issues, some don’t want to talk, and some may need someone else to get their candy for fear of touching.

Little Children are not the only ones out there trick or treating, the teens too, want in on the fun. Teens deserve to have fun on Halloween. They too, need to be able to be seen, no matter what type of horror costume they might want to wear. Some find the idea of teens out there, not acceptable, but they truly love candy the same as the next guy, and they want to be in the midst of all the entertainment this holiday brings. It is sometimes difficult, when a teen shows up at your door, that may be 6 foot, that teen, is just a kid in so many ways, but has an older appearance. Halloween should be a fun and safe way to spend the evening. Teens should be told to be curtious and have some sort of costume and most folks will be more than willing to share the treats.

Whether costumes be big or small, scary or funny, pretty or ugly, they seem to bring out the child in all on Halloween night. Be safe out there and remember to turn on the lights.

Stay Puft Marshmallow Man (Dillon Slone) terrorizes the village.
https://www.portsmouth-dailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/28/2017/10/web1_chris-.jpgStay Puft Marshmallow Man (Dillon Slone) terrorizes the village.

Kids riding in a wagon Trick or Treating, a great safe way to go. Jeter, Ryker, and Napoli Dekarske
https://www.portsmouth-dailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/28/2017/10/web1_jess.jpgKids riding in a wagon Trick or Treating, a great safe way to go. Jeter, Ryker, and Napoli Dekarske

By Kimberly Jenkins


Reach Kimberly Jenkins 740-353-3101 ext. 1928

Reach Kimberly Jenkins 740-353-3101 ext. 1928