Halloween is that time of year when it’s not quite winter, but it’s really no longer fall either. Here in Elmhurst, many families choose to celebrate the day trick-or-treating, and groups of brightly costumed children traipse from one house to another in our neighborhoods. This year, trick or treating will take place from 3:30 – 7:30 pm on the 31st. It can be a great chance to catch up with neighbors, but the combination of energy, excitement, and novelty can also make for some precarious situations. Help keep everyone safe this year with these tips from SafeKids.org.

For parents and children: Children under 12 should trick-or-treat and cross streets with an adult. Always be sure to walk on sidewalks or paths. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible. Only cross the street at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks. Parents should remind children to watch for cars that are turning or backing up. Look left, right, and left again when crossing and keep looking as you cross. Walk, don't run, across the street.

For drivers: Slow down and be especially alert in residential neighborhoods. Children are excited on Halloween and may move in unpredictable ways. Anticipate heavy pedestrian traffic, and turn your headlights on earlier in the day so you can spot children from greater distances. Remember that costumes can limit children's visibility, and they may not be able to see your vehicle. Reduce any distractions inside your car so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings.

Costumes and Treats: Decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers, and choose light-colored costumes to improve visibility. Choose face paint and make-up instead of masks, which can obstruct a child's vision. Look for non-toxic designations when choosing Halloween makeup. Avoid carrying sticks, swords, or other sharp objects; instead, have kids carry glow sticks or flashlights in order to see better, as well as to be seen better by drivers. The liquid in glow sticks is hazardous, so parents should remind children not to chew on or break them. Check treats for signs of tampering before children are allowed to eat them. Candy should be thrown away if the wrapper is faded or torn, or if the candy is unwrapped.

The strong sense of community we enjoy here in Elmhurst makes every season just that much more special, and it’s the perfect place to follow your property ownership dreams. The Gracik Makinney Real Estate Group is here to help. With community knowledge, industry experience, and personal dedication, our team is the best place to start on the road to your home-ownership dreams. Contact us today at 540 South York St. in Elmhurst, or at (630) 567-5902.