By Guy Chapman – Navarro County Gazette

Yes We Can

Well gang, Halloween 2020 is here, and this should be an interesting one.

It’s hard to say how this year is going to go over, but kids are still going to be out trick or treating on Saturday evening. Halloween is always a fun time of year, but it’s important to remember a few safety tips before going out there to do the monster mash.

For trick or treaters still hitting the brick and street…ers, there are still a few good practice guidelines to ensure everyone has a safe and fun time.

  • It’s best to stay in familiar neighborhoods. Whether it’s your own block or a regular walking route, stay in areas that are already known, and well lit.
  • When trick or treating, stay in groups. Smaller kids should be accompanied by an adult.
  • Parents should examine their kid’s candy before eating any of their sugar hoard.
  • Children should never go into a stranger’s house, even when invited.
  • Costumes should be brightly colored so they can easily be seen by oncoming cars.
  • Stay on sidewalks. Stay out of the streets.
  • When walking, trick or treaters should travel on the left side of the street facing traffic and off of pavement areas where there is no sidewalk.
  • Look both ways before crossing any street, and only cross the street at the corner.
  • When wearing a mask, make sure the visibility of the eye holes does not impair the ability to see curbs, cars, or other obstacles.
  • Children should not carry lit candles or wear costumes that are at risk of being flammable. Glow sticks are cheap, easy to activate, and come in a variety of colors.
  • With COVID-19 still present in our community, it’s important to maintain social distancing (the six-foot rule still applies) and wear a mask. However, medical experts from the Mayo Clinic have confirmed that a costume mask itself does not provide protection against spreading the virus.

While Halloween is fun for humans, it’s not always a good time for pets. Here are a few safety tips in considering the well being and safety of pets.

  • Keep your pet secured in a room or area that is safe and quiet. Loud doorbells and noisy kids can upset or scare pets and cause them to run out of open doors.
  • Don’t let your pets remain outside unattended. More than any time of year, dogs and cats (especially black cats) are at risk of becoming targets of pranks and abuse.
  • Halloween candy is for kids. Treats containing chocolate or xylitol are poisonous to dogs and cats.
  • Throw away empty candy wrappers, glow sticks, and party favors when done. Dogs and cats can chew on these items, and cause stomachaches or blockage. No one (especially your pet) wants to deal with an extra vet bill.
  • Keep electrical plugs connected to Halloween lights and inflatables out of the reach of animals. Dogs and cats can be tangled up by multiple and unsecured cords, and become injured or electrocuted.

Halloween is still here, and there’s still plenty of ways to enjoy the holiday. So kick back with some Jack Skellington on TV, turn “Thriller” up on your stereo, and keep a few “Fun Size” candy bars in reserve for yourself.

As for me, I finished my shark mouthed candy launcher. I promised I’d show off this latest haunted invention when it was complete, so here it is:

This shark is mad, bad, and full of Ring Pops – Photo by Guy Chapman

Who said social distancing had to be a complete wash?

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