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Our Opinion: Take care to be safe this Halloween

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The annual tradition of gremlins, ghosts, goblins and ghouls -- not to mention princesses, superheroes and cartoon characters -- is upon us.

In a day’s time, Halloween will be here.

The first piece of advice we give to the kids -- and parents accompanying them -- heading out onto Brainerd lakes area city streets late Thursday evening and into Thursday night is to dress warmly. The high temperature is only expected to reach 36 degrees on Halloween, and the low temperature Halloween night is forecast to be 24 degrees.

That’s chilly by any standards, and there’s a slight chance of snow Thursday night. Layers under or over a costume are always a good idea, as long as they don’t impede a child’s ability to move or see.

Weather forecasts aside, what’s most important this Halloween, and every Halloween for that matter, is safety. Many of our area streets will be packed with trick-or-treaters, Halloween parties will be in full swing and a lot of people will be shuttling from one event to another.

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers these tips:

-- Swords, knives and other costume accessories should be short, soft and flexible.

-- Avoid trick-or-treating alone. Walk in groups or with a trusted adult.

-- Fasten reflective tape to costumes and bags to help drivers see you.

-- Examine all treats for choking hazards and tampering before eating them. Limit the amount of treats you eat.

-- Hold a flashlight while trick-or-treating to help you see and others see you. Walk and don’t run from house to house.

-- Always test makeup in a small area first. Remove it before bedtime to prevent possible skin and eye irritation.

-- Look both ways before crossing the street. Use crosswalks wherever possible.

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-- Lower your risk for serious eye injury by not wearing decorative contact lenses.

-- Walk on sidewalks whenever possible, or on the far edge of the road facing traffic to stay safe.

-- Wear well-fitting masks, costumes and shoes to avoid blocked vision, trips, and falls.

-- Eat only factory-wrapped treats. Avoid eating homemade treats made by strangers.

-- Enter homes only if you’re with a trusted adult. Only visit well-lit houses. Never accept rides from strangers.

-- Never walk near lit candles or luminaries. Be sure to wear flame-resistant costumes.

Let’s all do our best to make sure this Halloween is scary for only the right reasons.

For kids -- Have fun, make good decisions and don’t eat too much candy.

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For adults -- Keep your walkways and doorways well lit, and be alert for trick-or-treaters while driving.

For everyone -- Have a safe and spooktacular Halloween!

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