Many organized Halloween events happened before the main event. Halloween is on a Thursday. Regardless, trick or treaters are expected to be out in droves looking to fill their bags with candy.
To have a fun and safe Halloween this year, Seminole Fire Rescue recommends the following safety tips.
• Plan the route your children will be taking if you aren’t going with them. Have them check in with you every hour, by phone or by stopping back at home. Make sure that they know not to change the planned route so that you always know where they will be.
• When young children go trick or treating make sure that an adult is going with them. If you can’t take them yourself, see if another adult family member or friend can.
• Assist your child in picking out or making a costume that will be safe. Make sure that it’s fireproof or treated with fire retardant. If they are wearing a mask, make sure that the eyeholes are large enough for good peripheral vision.
• Know what other activities your child may be attending, such as parties at school or other functions. If they are going to be at a friend’s home, get the phone number and make sure that you’ve met the parents.
• Make sure you set a time that your children should be home by. Make sure they know how important it is for them to be home on time or to call immediately if something happens and they are going to be delayed.
• Teach children of all ages the difference between tricks and vandalism. Throwing eggs at a house may seem funny, but they need to know the consequences of poor judgment. The clean up and damages can ruin Halloween for everyone.
• Have your child eat a filling meal before trick or treating so they won’t be as tempted to eat any candy before they bring it home for you to check.
• Make sure that if your child is carrying a prop, such as a sword or a pitchfork, that the tips are smooth and flexible enough to not cause injury if fallen on. Make sure that costumes don’t cause a trip hazard when walking.
• Teach your children about not getting into strangers’ cars or talking to strangers, no matter what the person says to them, and that they should never go into a house of a person they don’t know.
• Teach your children how to cross a street properly. They should always look both ways before crossing the street and should only cross at corners or crosswalks. Make sure that if you have more than one child, they know to take the hand of the younger child when they cross a street.
• Attend a sponsored event, such as a safe Halloween party at a church or community center. Parents should still supervise their children even though it appears less dangerous, you are still in an unfamiliar environment.
AlertID and McGruff the Crime Dog offer more tips
Halloween is one of the most anticipated nights of the year. AlertID and the National Crime Prevention Council, home of McGruff the Crime Dog, offer tips on how families can stay safe while trick-or-treating. “With all of the excitement that Halloween brings, it’s easy to let your guard down,” said NCPC President and CEO Ann M. Harkins. “By following these simple safety tips, families can stay safe while still enjoying a fun, spooky holiday.”
• Parents should be familiar with homes and occupants on their child’s trick-or-treat route. Parents may register for FREE at AlertID.com, enter their address and instantly see an easy-to-read map showing sex offenders residing or working in the vicinity as well as view sex offenders wherever they are with the AlertID free mobile app. Members also receive alerts when new sex offender data becomes available, in addition to crime alerts in hundreds of cities nationwide.
• Children should wear reflective tape on their costumes and carry flashlights or glow sticks when trick-or-treating during evening hours.
• Snap a photo of your child prior to heading out on Halloween night and upload it, along with an accurate, up-to-date description, to AlertID’s My Family Wallet™ (located on AlertID’s free mobile app). If the child goes missing, members may access the information on their smartphones and send it instantly to law enforcement when every moment counts. Make sure that the photo includes a complete view of the child from head to toe.
• Only approach homes that are well-lit, both inside and out; instruct children never to enter a home without parental permission.
• Children should always trick-or-treat under the supervision of a trusted adult or teenager.
• Younger children should always be accompanied all the way to the door of the home when trick-or-treating.
• In the event they are grabbed by a stranger, instruct children to yell “This person is trying to take me!” or “This is not my mother/father!” and to resist by pulling, walking, or running away.
• Stay in contact with your neighbors not only on Halloween night, but also throughout the year, by using AlertID’s Secure Social Network. See something suspicious in the neighborhood while out trick-or-treating? Members may send an alert to the neighborhood on AlertID’s Secure Social Network, or even instantly report it directly to the Department of Homeland Security.
“Being aware of potential threats in our neighborhoods is crucial to helping families and communities protect themselves,” said Keli Wilson, mom of three and founder, AlertID. “Our mission is to provide information and tools to help protect families and communities not just on Halloween, but every day.”
To sign up for a free AlertID account, or for more information, visit www.AlertID.com.
About the National Crime Prevention Council
The National Crime Prevention Council is the nonprofit leader in crime prevention. For more than 30 years, our symbol of safety, McGruff the Crime Dog, has delivered easy-to-use crime prevention tips to millions of adults, teens, and children. Law enforcement agencies nationwide rely on our expertise to make an impact on personal safety and crime every day. For more information on how NCPC can be a public safety expert for you or how to “Take A Bite Out Of Crime,” visit www.ncpc.org.