Safety Tips For Kids Trick Or Treating This Year for treat
Safety Issues To Keep Your Kids Safe This Halloween
As we all know, Halloween can be a joyous time for kids to play and get lots of candy. Heck, I'm sure of lot of readers probably have fond memories of what it was like to go "trick or treating", while being dressed up in various costumes like a pirate, princess or whatever. The point is, we all had fun, and I'm sure you want your children to have the same if not, similar experiences. As sad as it is to say, there are also a lot of dangers associated with the holiday. In fact, Halloween is often a day where many children could be open to being either ran over, kidnapped, poisoned or even worse...possibly killed. Not to scare too many parents out there, but there's a lot of potential dangers parents don't often think about when it comes to safety of their children. That's why it's important to go over these general rules when your kids go out trick or treating.
1. Always have adult supervision- I cannot stress this enough. If you have children that are six years old and/or under, then it's probably best not to take them out "trick or treating." Sure, they may hate you for it, but the reality is that "trick or treating" can be dangerous. However, regardless of the age of the child, it's often best to have an adult with them at all times. Especially someone you know you can trust or yourself if necessary. The reality is there are lot of sexual pedophiles out there, and many of them residing possibly within the same communities you live in. Sure, there's various websites you can check out to find these sexual deviants addresses, so you'll know which houses and people to avoid. However, most of these sites aren't always accurate and are totally reliant on the sex offender putting in his/her information accurately, which anyone who knows probably that are familiar with the dangers of the internet, people aren't always going to be honest about their information. Secondly, those sex offenders on those sites are only of the ones that have been caught thus far, and not a record of every sex offender out there. That is why it's very important, you don't allow your child to trick or treat without adult supervision.
2. Strength in numbers- If your child feels they are too old to have a parent or legal guardian follow them during "trick or treating", then it's often best to encourage them to travel in groups of friends. Make sure you know who they're "trick or treating" with and the numbers of their parents, if something should happen. Most stalkers and sexual deviants won't attack a child if they're traveling in a large group of friends, as that would leave too many witnesses. However, if the child is alone, then it becomes easy for a predator to kidnap your child when he/she isn't expecting it. This is why if you allow your child to "trick or treat" alone, then you need to encourage them to travel in a large group of friends; preferably ones that you know, so you can be sure that your child will be safe.
As far as age range for the child to be allowed to travel like this with their friends, then it often depends on the maturity level of the child in question. I would say thirteen and older is an appropriate age if the child is mature enough but if he/she is mature at a younger age to do so, then that's dependent on the parent's judgment.
3. Map out a designated route- When taking your child "trick or treating", it's important to plan out a route first before the big Halloween night. The reason being is that not all houses and neighborhoods are safe. When mapping out your route, it's often best to check with various websites for known sex offenders in your area, as to know which houses to avoid taking your children to. Although the main problem with that is, not all of them are going to registered on sites where you can locate them, as many of those same sites are dependent on the sex offender filling out their information correctly on them. Therefore, anyone that you don't know too well could be a potential sex offender. That's why it's often best to take them to houses and neighborhoods, where you know the people they're getting candy from. Or if your child is traveling with a group of their friends, then it's important you lay out a route for them to follow of only "trick or treating" from known neighbors, and make sure they don't deviate from the designed plan.
4. Take the long way around- When taking your kids out "trick or treating", be sure to take them in areas that are heavily populated by people. Never take shortcuts through alleys or anywhere where you and your child will find yourselves alone and isolated. The reason being is that you never know who's watching you and if your alone with your child in an alley, then it only makes it easier for a stalker to trap you and your child. That's why it's important to never take shortcuts. If your children are traveling with a group of their friends instead of you, then it's important they understand this as well.
5. Only "Trick or Treat" at friendly homes- Once you map out your route and start to follow the designated trail, be sure that the houses you visit are Halloween friendly. What I mean by this is to look for the following. One, make sure the house lights are brightly lit so it creates an easy path to the front door. Another thing worth noting, it might often be best to visit houses that have some sort of Halloween decoration on them, as not everyone is going to celebrate Halloween, so the porch lights might only be on because they're expecting a family member or friend to come over late. However, if you know the house fairly well that your visiting, then it should be okay. It's only if you aren't familiar with the house, that I would advise against it if there's no Halloween memorabilia around the porch or front of the house.
6. Stay Out!- When approaching the door to get candy, it's important to remember to never under any circumstances go inside a person's house to get candy. They can easily hand you the candy from answering the front door, while you and your children wait on the porch. The reason being is you never know what will happen if you and/or your child goes inside that house. As statistics show, that most cases of rape involving pedophilia, comes from a person that people often know, but would never assume like a family member or a neighbor. This is why it's extremely important that you should not only get to know everything about the people you live around, it's important your child doesn't enter into the neighbors house. Sure, they may have always seemed like a sweet person to you in the past but once they enter into their house, they could end up hurting your child. Therefore, it's very important that under no circumstances, your child should ever have to go inside a person's house to get the candy, as anything can happen if they do.
7. Remain visible at all times- Preferably it's always good to have your children dress in very brightly colored costumes for Halloween, as it makes it easier to keep track of them. However, if they do dress in dark costumes like say a Grim Reaper, a Vampire or whatever, then make sure they carry something to make themselves visible like a flashlight, glow stick or reflective strips. Another thing to keep in mind is try to keep to the sidewalks as much as possible. The reason behind that is, people do a lot of crazy things on this holiday. Sure, there's the traditional "trick or treating", haunted houses and whatnot, but there's also a lot of drunk drivers out there, who're partying around this holiday as well. Therefore if your child isn't properly visible during Halloween, then it only makes him/her more likely to get hit by a drunk driver or someone who's in a rush to get to a Halloween party. That's why it's important that your child tries to remain visible along with staying on the sidewalk. If they have to cross the street, then make sure they look both ways. Safety is important here, as this brings me to my next topic.
8. Stay close to each other within arm's length at all times- If your child is "trick or treating" with you or a bunch of their closest friends, then it's extremely important they stay within the group. As the younger a child is, they're more susceptible to wander off. That is why it's important you make sure your child doesn't travel too far ahead. Otherwise, it'll only make it that much easier for your child to get lost, as many children can and often will wear the same costumes on Halloween, so finding them may not be that easy. Plus, if they're alone, there's no telling what might happen, as most child predators and stalkers will attack a child when they're most vulnerable. That's why it's important, your child never strays too far from the group. Sure, they may love Halloween, but that's no excuse to wander off.
9. Being longer isn't everything- When it comes to costumes, you want to make sure it's not too long, so your child isn't tripping over it as they walk. Ha! I bet you folks reading this must have thought I was talking about something else. You pervs.
10. Don't cover your face- Ideally, it would be best if your child doesn't wear a mask on Halloween, and sticks to make up instead. The reason why is because most masks can obstruct a child's vision, to where they can easily get lost. Or if you lose them, it'll be harder to find them if you can't see their face, as any other child could have the same costume as them. That's why ideally, it's best if the child sticks to costumes that don't require masks at all. However, since I know many parents probably won't follow that rule anyway, then please at least follow tip number 8 then, so your child won't get lost from the group.
Another thing that you can do if the mask your child wears interferes with his vision is simply widen the eye holes on the mask, using a pair of scissors. Just a simple cut around the corners of the eyes will do, so your child can see more clearly during "trick or treating."
11. Check your child's candy- Before allowing your child to eat any of their candy, it's best you do a check of it. Unless you only "trick or treated" from people you know fairly well and trust completely, it's often best to do this, as any candy could have been tampered with. Therefore, just look at the wrappers to see if any of it looks like it might have been previously open or tampered with in anyway. If the candy looks to be completely sealed properly in their wrappers, then it should be okay to allow your children to dig in on their candy bounty.
Another tip worth noting is food allergies and sugar intake. I know some parents like to monitor the sugar intake of their children and/or they have food allergies. That's why it's often best to throw out candy that you know might cause your child to have an allergic reaction. If they're not sure if the candy will cause them to have an allergic reaction, then it's often best to keep a close eye on the child after they've taken it. If the child starts to show signs of irregularity like skin pigmentation or unusual bowel movements, then it's important to take your child to the hospital immediately. Don't wait until the next day, as a allergic reaction could do serious harm to your child.
Also, you have to limit your child's consumption of candy. Although I'm sure your kid(s) will want to eat all the candy. Take in mind, candy contains a lot of sugar that isn't healthy when consumed too much, and has been proven to rot your teeth if taken in mass quantities. Therefore, setting an exact limit on how much candy they're allowed to eat per day will not only keep your kids healthy, it'll also keep them ruining their appetites. After all, they can't live off candy all the time, can they?
12. Watch out for strangers and stalkers- This is extremely important. Be sure to alert your child to never accept rides from strangers or go anywhere with them. The reason being is that you don't know who this person is, and what their exact intentions are. If this person is so persistent on telling you something, then he/she can just as easily do it out in broad day light where everyone can see. If not and they persist that they have to see you or your child alone, then that's not a good sign. That's why it's important your child knows not to accept any rides or follows any strangers around.
Secondly, there are the issues of stalkers. A lot of times, kidnappers or pedophiles will often monitor for children that wander off, or when a child is most vulnerable to take. This is why it's extremely important you keep your eyes open at all times. If you should notice a person or car following you, then don't just ignore it. Watch it closely and if it continues to follow you, then it's often best to alert the authorities immediately. This is why I recommend parents carry a cell phone with them during "trick or treating" to call the police immediately if they suspect a person is following them. Sure, it might be a coincidence, but do you really want to take that chance when it comes to your child's safety?
Thirdly, if your a woman that's watching out for these kids, then it's often best to carry some type of weapon like pepper spray or a stun gun, if you don't know how to defend yourself. I apologize severely to any female reader who reads this, as I mean no offense by that statement. However, it's a proven fact that women are a lot more susceptible to getting mugged or possibly raped. Therefore, if you're with your child during the night "trick or treating", then try to stay in areas that are heavily populated. If you should find yourself in areas that are scarcely populated, and a mugger or psychopath tries to harm you and/or the child, then this is why it's best to have these weapons on hand. Just in case, you have to defend yourself. After all, it's Halloween night, and not all ghosts and ghouls are the ones you see in horror movies.
13. Don't wear anything that could be flammable- Another important tip to remember is that your child's costume should be flame resistant. The reason, I note this is because during this holiday, there will be a lot of open candles burning inside Jack-O-Lanterns and whatnot for decoration and if your child's costume isn't flame resistant, then it could lead to a serious injury for your child. Possibly but not limited to severe burns and possibly death.
14. Obey the law!- Again, please keep your children on the sidewalk during Halloween, as I can't stress this enough, as there's a lot of drunk drivers out there. And believe it or not, Halloween is one of the biggest days people like to party and get wasted. Therefore, you need to make sure your children stay on the sidewalk predominantly, and follow the crosswalk rules like looking both ways.
Of course, obeying the laws also require your kids not to vandalize other people's property. If you should allow your kid(s) to "trick or treat" with their friends this year, then it's important that your kids know right from wrong, and aren't the type to be prone to peer pressure. This is why it's often best for parents to know exactly who their kid's friends are, and who they're parents are as well. It's no secret that some kids are often faced with peer pressure of vandalizing on Halloween. I mean lets face it, we all had our share of pranks in the day. Ranging anywhere from prank phone calls to "tipeeing" some guy's house with toilet paper. Heck, there's even some gags that involve filling a paper bag with manure, and lighting it on fire in front of the house. However, as funny as these gags are, they can also get your child into a lot trouble with the law. Vandalizing is against the law. Therefore, it's often best that your child knows the difference of right and wrong, before you let them adventure out on their own on a night like Halloween.
Conclusion: Anyways, I hope my hub hasn't discouraged anyone from taking their kids "trick or treating" this year, as it can be a lot of fun for a child, and the parents as well. Therefore, the most important thing to remember here is to have fun. Besides, Halloween is only once a year, and be sure to make the most of it. In fact, try to get as much candy as possible, as free candy is always a good thing. HAPPY HALLOWEEN!