With Halloween just days away, many kids are itching to join friends to roam neighborhoods for tricks or treats. But with recent child abductions, safety is a top concern for most parents. The following tips are adapted from the For Safety’s Sake program, a child safety curriculum from Jeffco Sherriff’s Department.
Take some time to talk through these tips with your children:
- Check first before you go anywhere with anyone (for any reason at any time)! Check with the adult who is in charge of you at the time. If you cannot check, then the answer is NO!
- Know your full name, address (including state), and telephone number with the area code. Know your parents’ or guardians’ names, too.
- Use the buddy system; go places in groups of friends. If you are separated or lost from your parent or buddy, freeze and yell your parent’s or buddy’s first and last name. You may ask a parent with children to go get help for you, but stay where you are.
Kids should be very visible, especially if Trick-Or-Treating at night. Reflective tape and flashlights should be used so that your kids are very visible from far away. Avoid very dark colored costumes and certain that your kids can see well through any masks so they don’t trip and fall over any obstacles and also so that they can see cars. Obviously, younger children should be accompanied by an adult or an older responsible teenager.
Remind your children to not accept or eat any candy that is not factory wrapped, and to wait until you have a chance to inspect the candy before eating. Sadly some sick people tamper with Halloween candy and add drugs and other things to hurt kids. Look for any small holes in the wrapper even if it is still sealed. A small hole is all that is needed to inject drugs into candy with a needle. Discard any candy that has a wrapper damaged in any sort of way.
Also instruct kids to look both ways before crossing any streets and do so only at a corner or in a designated crosswalk. Only cross at corners when you have the right of way according to any crossing signs. Make sure no cars are coming before crossing the street and try and make eye contact with the driver to make sure they have seen you. If you are not sure, wait until the car passes by or stops for you before proceeding. First look left, then right, then left again before crossing. If you have a younger brother or sister with you then hold their hand while crossing the street so they can get across safely.
Only walk down the sidewalks, not the street. Never enter the street from between parked cars. And Kids should never go into a stranger’s house. Make sure you can see clearly see your kids as the go up to each house. No matter what anyone says don’t enter a house if you don’t know the people very well. If you do know them, make sure it is actually them under any costumes they may be wearing.
Only go up to houses that look like someone is home and that is well lit. If the lights are off keep on going to the next house. Don’t go near any candles or fires as many costumes are very flammable.
And if you see Freddy Krueger RUNNNNNNNNNN!