SCRIPPS RANCH
FAMILY FUN
Have a fun and safe Halloween

This is the big day for all who enjoy dressing up in costumes and celebrating Halloween, especially those youngsters who are excited about trick or treating.

Fortunately, the weather has changed just in time to provide a nice feel of autumn for this year's Halloween. Weather on Halloween night is expected to be mostly cloudy, with a low around 62, according to the National Weather Service. There is a slight chance of sprinkles, mostly after midnight.

Scripps Ranch is one of the few places in San Diego that seems to be made for Halloween. Even on a clear, moonlit night, Scripps Ranch has plenty of spooky shapes, thanks to all the leafy trees in this community that cast long shadows. Squint your eyes a little, use your imagination and you might get the idea you're in Sleepy Hollow. A headless horseman might appear out of nowhere at any time.

While Scripps Ranch is a long way from Sleepy Hollow, it does get very dark after sunset and it's one of the few San Diego communities that still has a fairly good amount of trick or treaters on Halloween. Many of the city's communities now prefer that kids attend Halloween events at local recreation centers and churches. Fortunately, Scripps Ranch is still relatively safe and neighbors look out for the little ones. Still, it's best to enjoy Halloween while keeping safety in mind.

Drivers should be extra cautious on Halloween and drive slowly through all neighborhoods. Kids can get caught up in all the excitement and forget their safety rules while walking. Those accompanying trick or treaters should stay a few steps ahead of the kids, remind youngsters to be careful when crossing streets and do anything possible to preempt accidents.

The City of San Diego offers the following Halloween safety tips:

Halloween should be fun and safe for children and parents. Follow these simple rules to be sure that it is.

  • Purchase only costumes, wigs and props labeled flame-resistant or flame-retardant. When creating a costume, choose material that will not easily ignite if it comes in contact with heat or flame. Avoid billowing or long trailing features.
  • Provide children with lightweight flashlights to carry for lighting or as part of their costume
  • Dried flowers, cornstalks and crepe paper are highly flammable. Keep these and other decorations well away from all open flames and heat sources, including light bulbs and heaters.
  • Use flashlights or battery-operated candles when illuminating jack-o'-lantern. Use extreme caution when decorating with candle lit jack-o'-lanterns, and supervise children at all times when candles are lit. When lighting candles inside jack-o'-lanterns, use long, fireplace-style matches and be sure to place lit pumpkins well away from anything that can burn including doorsteps, walkways and yards.
  • Remember to keep exits clear of decorations, ensuring nothing blocks escape routes.
  • Use flashlights as alternatives to candles or torchlights when decorating walkways and yards. They are much safer for trick-or-treaters, whose costumes may brush against the lighting.
  • Instruct children to stay away from open flames or other heat sources. Be sure children know how to stop, drop and roll in the event their clothing catches fire. (Stop immediately, drop to the ground, covering your face with your hands, and roll over and over to extinguish flames.) Cool the burn.
  • Make sure fuel-burning equipment is vented to the outside, that the venting is kept clear and unobstructed, and that the exit point is properly sealed around the vent, all of which is to make sure deadly carbon monoxide does not build up in the home.
  • Instruct children who are attending parties at others' homes to locate the exits and plan how they would get out in an emergency.

In addition, Tom Christensen of the County of San Diego Communications Office offered the following safety advice on the County's website:

  1. Children should wear bright, age-appropriate costumes that are made of flame-retardant materials and that don't hinder their mobility.
  2. Swords, knives and similar costume accessories should be short, soft and flexible.
  3. Young children should be accompanied by an adult or older sibling.
  4. Older children trick-or-treating without supervision should walk in groups and have a set time to return home.
  5. If your child is going out unaccompanied by an adult, make sure someone in their group has a cell-phone so they can be reached and can use it in case of an emergency.
  6. Teach children to stay off their electronic devices while walking, look both ways when crossing streets, use crosswalks and never dart out into the street or cross between parked cars.
  7. Have kids carry glow sticks or flashlights (make sure the batteries are fresh or recharged) to help them see and be seen by drivers.
  8. Children should not enter homes of people they do not know and never approach a vehicle to accept a treat.
  9. Throw away anything that looks tampered with or is unwrapped.
  10. Do not eat homemade treats, unless you know the person who made them.

Once the kids get home, parents should always inspect their Halloween treats to make sure they have not been tampered with before allowing their children to consume the goodies.