Dear Annie: Both my wife and I are in our 80s, and we like to take walks together. Recently, we've noticed a safety issue that concerns us. As young children, we were always taught to walk facing traffic (i.e., the left side of the road). Older people, like us, seem to have learned this lesson well. But somewhere along the line, this simple safety tip got dropped.
What we see today are more and more young people and their families walking in the direction of traffic. Please tell your readers to be safe and walk facing traffic. — Two Walkers
Dear Two Walkers: Thank you for your observation. I will pass the tip on to my readers. And great job walking! Walking together as a couple is great for so many reasons. It helps you stay fit while growing closer to each other by having relaxed conversations in the open air.
Dear Readers: The following are some helpful tips to keep your children safe, courtesy of Safe Kids Worldwide.
1. Cross the street at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks. Look left, right and left again when crossing and keep looking as you cross.
2. Put electronic devices down, keep your head up and walk — don't run — across the street.
3. Teach children to make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them.
4. Always walk on sidewalks or paths. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible. Children should walk on direct routes with as few street crossings as possible.
5. Watch for cars that are turning or backing up. Teach children to never dart out into the street or cross between parked cars.
6. Join kids under age 12 for trick-or-treating. If kids are mature enough to be out without supervision, tell them to trick-or-treat in groups and stick to familiar, well-lit areas.
Costumes for a Safe Halloween
1. Decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers and choose light colors if possible.
2. Choose face paint and makeup instead of masks whenever you can, as masks can obstruct children's vision.
3. Have kids carry glow sticks or flashlights to help them see and be seen by drivers.
4. When selecting a costume, make sure it is the right size, so as to prevent trips and falls.
Drive Especially Safely on Halloween
1. Slow down and be extra alert in residential neighborhoods. Children are excited on Halloween and may move in unpredictable ways.
2. Take extra time to look for kids at intersections, on medians and on curbs.
3. Enter and exit driveways and alleys slowly and carefully.
4. Get rid of any distractions in your car — such as your phone — so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings.
5. Turn your headlights on earlier in the day so you can spot children from greater distances.
6. Popular trick-or-treating hours are 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Be especially alert for kids during those hours.
Quick tip for the pets: Please keep your cats inside for Halloween and hide your candy from your dogs. Chocolate and raisins are poisonous to them.
Wishing everyone a happy and safe Halloween!
"Ask Me Anything: A Year of Advice From Dear Annie" is out now! Annie Lane's debut book — featuring favorite columns on love, friendship, family and etiquette — is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit http://www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to [email protected]