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OPINION — It is that time of year again where we transition from summer to winter. This time is traditionally celebrated in many places of the world like in China with the “Tomb Sweeping Day” and in Mexico with “El Día De Los Muertos.”

In the United States we celebrate “Halloween,” which many people are not aware was made a Christian Holiday in the 9th Century (by way of syncretism) by the Church. It is the second most lucrative holiday behind Christmas, and can be traced back to the Celtic Celebration of “Samhain.”

Halloween is a fun event for children as well as adults. That fun comes into existence by dressing up and going trick or treating, going to a community Halloween event, a haunted house, a “Trick” or a “Trunk” event, and even going to a party for the adults.

If you look out your window or door on Halloween night, you may see some superheroes, ghosts, comic book figures and even scary politicians.

Most cities and villages have already posted the dates and times for their approved Halloween Trick-or-Treating events. You can find the location and events and times for the Halloween celebrations in our communities right here on the Racine County Eye. Try to use those times, the earlier the better if possible, to avoid being caught in the darkness (and to get the best candy).

Halloween Safety

Costume Safety

Some suggestions for your costumes:

  1. If you are going to buy or make your costume, try to get flame retardant material such as polyester or nylon.
  2. Make sure the length is comfortable and not a tripping hazard.
  3. Use a reflective strip or a reflective day-glo color so that it is clearly seen by others and by vehicles on the road.
  4. Face masks are a “tricky” item. Using makeup is preferable because a mask or a covering over your face may reduce peripheral visibility, and if it shifts it can block your vision. Remember to check out the makeup on your arm for an allergic reaction.
  5. If you are going to wear colored (decorative) eye lenses make sure they are prescribed and fit properly.

Food safety

  1. If you have allergies, make sure you have your epi pen with you.
  2. Some of the treats that you might receive may be home made goodies. Unless you know the person giving you the goodies do not eat them.
  3. Some folks may think that giving you a fruit item is a healthy alternative to candy. Do not eat the fruit if it doesn’t come prepackaged.
  4. When you do get prepackaged goodies check the packaging for punctures and tears. Throw anything away that looks like it has been tampered with. The Racine Youthful Offenders Facility is offering free candy and screening of your goodies. This is a viable alternative for screening of your goodies.
  5. Before you go out Trick or Treating have something to eat. This will hold back your temptation to nibble on the candy before you have time to properly inspect it.
  6. Remember to also look out for food allergies and dye allergies before you consume your goodies.

Outdoor and personal safety

  1. Carry a flashlight with you or a head light lamp, or even a glo stick if you can.
  2. Walk against traffic on the sidewalk to help prevent any mishaps with vehicles or other dangers or strangers since everyone is wearing makeup and you may not be aware of who us around you.
  3. Only go to homes that have a light on. This is common practice during Halloween, and it usually indicates that the residents of the home have candy and goodies to share.
  4. Parents, don’t send the kids out alone. Try to be close by when trick or treating in case there is an unexpected event or emergency.

It is unfortunate that we have to take these safety precautions but evil is all around us and some people take advantage of this day to be evil.

This is not a conclusive list of items to consider for Halloween. It is only a conversation starter. Be safe, have fun and enjoy this Halloween celebration.

Henry Perez brings you Snapshots of Safety with the Racine County Eye. – Credit: Loren Lamoreaux

Henry Perez, is a retired minister, school resource officer, and current Alderman in the City of Racine.

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