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Make plans for a safe Halloween

As Halloween creeps closer and families are making plans to enjoy the holiday, many groups have published ideas to help make trick-or-treating a safer endeavor this year.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has suggested avoiding direct contact with trick-or-treaters, instead setting up an outdoor station, if possible, with individually bagged treats for children to take. Treat givers are also urged to wash their hands and wear a mask.

Those out in costume or accompanying them should remember to wear masks, as well, even incorporating the mask as part of the costume. A costume mask is not a substitute for a cloth mask, the CDC cautions, nor should a cloth mask be worn under a costume mask because it may make breathing more difficult. Masks should not be worn by children under age 2 or by anyone who has trouble breathing.

Social distancing may be more difficult during trick-or-treat activities, but it is still recommended to stay at least six feet away from others who do not live in the same household. Hand sanitizer should be carried as treats are being sought, using it after touching objects or other people. Once home, hand washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds is still recommended prior to opening treats.

An alternative to door-to-door trick-or-treating is for families to take plastic eggs from Easter events — or plastic pumpkins available at some retailers — fill them with candy and hide them for a Halloween hunt in the yard or indoors.

The National Safety Council also makes the following suggestions.

Costumes

• All costumes, wigs and accessories should be fire-resistant.

• If children are allowed out after dark, fasten reflective tape to their costumes and bags, or give them glow sticks.

• When buying Halloween makeup, make sure it is nontoxic and always test it in a small area first.

• Remove all makeup before children go to bed to prevent skin and eye irritation.

On the prowl

Here’s a scary statistic: Children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween than on any other day of the year. Lack of visibility because of low lighting at night also plays a factor in these incidents.

Keep these tips in mind when your children are out on Halloween night:

• A responsible adult should accompany young children on the neighborhood rounds.

• If your older children are going alone, plan and review a route acceptable to you.

• Agree on a specific time children should return home.

• Teach your children never to enter a stranger’s home or car.

• Instruct children to travel only in familiar, well-lit areas and stick with their friends.

• Tell your children not to eat any treats until they return home.

• Children and adults are reminded to put electronic devices down, keep heads up and walk, don’t run, across the street.

• Watch for children walking on roadways, medians and curbs.

• Enter and exit driveways and alleys carefully.

• At twilight and later in the evening, watch for children in dark clothing.

• Discourage new, inexperienced drivers from driving on Halloween.

In Brookhaven

Historically, certain streets are closed in the city so children can trick or treat safely. Because of coronavirus concerns, that won’t happen this year.

Trick-or-treaters are encouraged to wear masks and take precautions. Drivers are encouraged to take extra care while driving.

The Brookhaven Police Department will have officers on patrol to help ensure safety for those who want to trick-or-treat during the designated hours of 5 to 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

Weather

Saturday is forecast to be mostly sunny, with a high of 69 degrees and a low of 50 degrees, so a jacket may be required for some.

What is unlikely to be needed Saturday evening is an umbrella. The chance of rain was 1%.

Check forecasts closer to the weekend to better prepare for whatever outdoor activities are planned.

Sunset is 6:13 p.m. and the moon should be visible around 6:33 p.m.