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Our view: Be safe this Halloween

Tomorrow’s drive home from work could be a bit – how shall we say this? – spookier than most other commutes.

Chances are pretty good you’ll see ghosts, goblins, witches and other creatures of the night scurrying from one front door to the next, crossing streets, and generally making your neighborhood appear a lot busier that most evenings.

That’s because Wednesday is Halloween, which means all kinds of Halloween-related activities, from costume parties to trick-or-treating.

We encourage area residents to have fun, kids and adults alike. Dress up. Celebrate the holiday in good cheer. Go door to door during your community’s allotted time.

But also remember to be safe, and keep your children safe.

Most towns in McHenry County have set their trick-or-treating hours Wednesday from mid-afternoon to early evening. A complete list of trick-or-treating hours can be found on page 2 of today’s Local & Region section.

Some towns have set trick-or-treating until as late as 7 or 8 p.m., which, of course, is after dark. If you’re out driving in neighborhoods during trick-or-treating hours, be especially wary. Children, many of them with masks that restrict their vision, will be out and about, scrambling from one home to the next, and crossing streets.

Parents and children who are out in the dark should do whatever they can to make themselves visible: Make costumes bright, not dark, or use reflective tape. Send kids out with flashlights. Cross the street at crosswalks and in groups.

If your children are old enough to venture around the neighborhood on their own, have a conversation with them first about appropriate and safe behavior. For younger children, make sure they remain close to an adult.

If you’re attending a Halloween party and plan to drink alcoholic beverages, make sure you have a safe, sober ride home.

Have fun, and be safe this Halloween.

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