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Youth of El Dorado: Trick or treater and teen driver safety for Halloween night

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From page B2 | October 09, 2013 | Leave Comment

It’s already October! The leaves are changing color, the air is crisp, and the familiar smell of pumpkin pie is beginning to permeate our kitchens. The most exciting part of October is the jack-o-lanterns, costumes, trick or treating, and all things spooky. Nothing is more exciting than dressing up as a goblin, ghoul, your favorite superhero or an Office character while traveling from house to house chanting catchy phrases and receiving sugary sweets.

Since it is likely that it will already be dark outside while you are enjoying these festivities, are you going to be safe? And to the teen drivers, are you going to be cautious? Here are a few tips to keep in mind both as a trick or treater and a driver.

Everyone loves a good scare on Halloween but not when it comes to your safety. In fact, youth are twice as more likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween than any other day of the year.

If you are trick or treating at night, stay in groups and wear lighter colors to increase your chances of being seen by cars. Wearing glow sticks may also be a fun and safe idea.

Some other suggestions are making sure your mask (if it is a necessity to your ensemble) does not obscure your vision, do your best to avoid walking on roads, carry a flashlight, wear reflective gear and maybe even choose some well-lit locations for trick or treating.

Typically, the curfew for an unaccompanied minor is 10 p.m. so keep that in mind when planning your activities for that evening and bring an adult with you if you intend on being out later than that —although that does not obligate homeowners to sit at their door with candy until 10 p.m. so if the lights aren’t on inside or outside of the house, do not disturb.

What do we do on Halloween if it rains? Create a backup plan.

As a trick or treater, you have quite a few options. Your first option is to be a trooper and trick or treat in the rain. Remember to bring an umbrella, warm clothing, a raincoat, and maybe even a pair of rain boots along so that you stay comfortable as well as dry throughout the evening.

You may want to trick or treat earlier in the evening when it is not raining as much, that way you also have the rest of the evening to dry off and enjoy your sweets.

Another option is to spend the evening indoors with friends: create a Halloween-themed dinner and tell ghost stories about El Dorado County. Some stories to look up and share include ghost stories about Hangtown, the Cary House, the Sequoia, Coloma, the Bailey House, local cemeteries and many of our other historical sites. This gives you the chance to not only share scary stories on the scariest night of the year but you may learn a lot more about your community’s history.

If you still have your mind set on trick or treating, check with some of the local shopping areas. They often offer trick or treating throughout the stores which could be a fun way to collect candy and stay dry.

The last option is a Halloween movie marathon with movies such as “Hocus Pocus,” “Halloweentown,” “Beetlejuice,” “Edward Scissorhands,” “The Nightmare Before Christmas” and “The Haunted Mansion.” Grab some popcorn and have a relaxing night indoors.

For the teen drivers who are driving on Halloween, be cautious. The typical time period for trick-or-treating is 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. so pay attention to your surroundings as you are driving or even try to avoid driving during that time period. When passing through a neighborhood, take extra time to investigate the street and sidewalks for possible jaywalkers.

Whether it rains or not, always remember to have fun and make the best of whatever situation you end up in. Stay safe, drive cautiously, collect lots of candy and have a spooktacular time.

Every second Wednesday of the month, look for Youth of El Dorado and its month’s theme to learn more about what is happening in your community.

Have something interesting you want to see in Youth of El Dorado? Submit your stories or suggestions to mescabar@mtdemocrat.net.

Brandon Anicich

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