Halloween Is Here!

A Column from the Desk of Assemblyman Karl Brabenec (R,C-Deerpark)

Fall is in full swing, and it’s been a pleasure to see it in the Hudson Valley. We’re uniquely situated in one of the most gorgeous areas of the state and blessed to see the changing seasons unfold around us. The beautiful fall colors have exploded around us, and thanks to the chill in the air and moisture on the ground, I truly enjoy the autumnal season and all the changes and comforts it brings us. One prime staple of this season is also one of its premiere holidays: Halloween!

What started in history as a day to honor the souls of those who have passed on has evolved into a family-fun affair where kids and adults alike can dress like their favorite heroes and villains or monsters and magicians and spend an evening together with good-natured spooks and laughter. But, like any other active night, there are risks to be aware of. Luckily, there are plenty of easy solutions to ensure the night can stay fun for everyone.

Besides the obvious—always stay with your child while trick-or-treating—there are many other steps parents, guardians or supervisors can take to ensure their children can be seen and heard throughout the hectic night. Firstly, consider carrying glow sticks or flashlights to help keep you visible and able to see your surroundings. You could also consider applying reflective tape and reflective stickers on trick-or-treaters’ costumes or candy containers to ensure they’ll catch any light shown on them, especially from drivers.

As far as drivers go, I’d recommend getting your errands done before Halloween so you don’t have to worry about being on the road during high foot traffic times. That being said, if you are on the road, be mindful that some neighborhoods may begin trick-or-treating earlier than others, and kids might be running around much sooner than you’d think. Drive extra slowly on Halloween night and turn your headlights on earlier in the day. It could very well be the thing that saves someone’s life that night.

Lastly, you’ll want to consider ensuring your child’s costume — or yours — fits you properly. Kids are understandably excited on Halloween, and the last thing we want to leave them with is the opportunity to injure themselves by stepping on a costume too big for them. The same goes for masks; fun as they are, they can impair vision, so, when possible, go with face paint for a child’s costume first.

But don’t forget to have fun too! Sharing Halloween with a group of kids trick-or-treating, or even just a good group of friends, is an excellent pastime, one that I’ve enjoyed both as a friend and as a father. So please, stay safe this Halloween, and enjoy it!