Defense Against Crime

25/10/2010

How to have Safe and Happy Halloween

It’s almost Halloween…on the night of October 31. Traditional activities include trick-or-treating, bonfires, costume parties, visiting “haunted houses” and carving jack-o-lanterns. Did you know that Irish and Scottish immigrants carried versions of the tradition to North America in the nineteenth century, and other western countries embraced the holiday in the late twentieth century including Ireland, the United States, Canada, and many other countries. Over the years the history of Halloween has evolved. The Holiday is fun for kids and adults. One of the most popular events in the United States is to allow your child to dress as their favorite character, or some monster and allow them to roam the neighborhood begging for candy. This is called Trick-or-Treating. While the Holiday stated off as simple fun some incidents over the years have made us cautions. Some of these events included”

  • Poison candy
  • Costumes catching on fire
  • Children hit by cars
  • Children abducted
  • Young women raped
  • A Martian landing in Grovers Mill, NJ

     

Here are a few simple things you can do that could keep you and your family out of trouble.

  • Always use common sense. 
  • Trick-or-treating is not what it used to be. In most cities it’s not safe to let children walk the streets by themselves. Your best bet is to make sure that an adult is going with them. If you can’t take them yourself, see if another responsible parent or two can.
  • If you take your children to a sponsored event, like a safe Halloween/ Hallelujah
    party thrown by your church, community center or other group, make sure to keep an eye on them at all times. Even though it seems less dangerous, you are still in a strange environment full of people that you don’t know. All it takes is a minute with your back turned to find your child missing.
     
  • Know what other activities a child may be attending, such as parties, school or mall 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.
  •  Cell phones are everywhere now! Everyone seems to have one, they can be so affordable. Make sure that your child has a pre-programmed cell phone with him/her if they go out on Halloween night! Make sure that all important numbers are already there and ready for use. Some of the smart phone have apps that allow you to track your child’s location. The best bet is to have your child under adult supervision.
  • Child predators exists, this is just a fact of life now. Get on the internet and check your local state website for sex offenders. Almost every state has one, just do a search for your state sex offender site. Look up your zip code and it should have a list of registered offenders in your area that includes street addresses. Make sure that your kids stay away from these houses! Most states forbid these people for participating in Halloween, so if you happen to notice that one of these houses participating, you may want to alert the police. 
  • Teach your children about not getting into strangers cars or talking to strangers, no matter what the person says to them. Explain to them as simply as you can that some adults are really bad monsters that want to hurt them, that they should never go into a house that they don’t know, get into a car or go anywhere with a stranger. Also, tell them what to do should this happen, to scream as loud as they can to draw attention and to run away as fast as they can to someplace safe. Personal alarms are great tools for kids. 
  • Younger children should go out during daylight hours only unless accompanied by a responsible adult. 
  • Slightly older kids don’t want their parent with them, however know the route your children will be taking if you aren’t going with them. Let them know that they are to check in with you every hour, by phone or by stopping back at home. Make sure that they know not to deviate from the planned route so that you always know where they will be. Make sure that your child is old enough and responsible enough to go out by themselves. 
  • Make absolutely 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. 
  • Let your children know not to cut through back alleys and fields. Make sure they know to stay in populated places and don’t go off the beaten track. Stay in well lighted areas, and to go stay with their friends. 
  • Stop only at familiar houses in your own neighborhood unless they are accompanied by an adult. 
  • Help your young child pick out or make a costume that will be safe. Make sure that it is fire proof or treated with fire retardant. Never walk near lit candles or luminaries. If they are wearing a mask of any kind, make sure that the eye holes are large enough for good peripheral vision. 
  • Make sure that if your child is carrying a prop, such as a scythe, butcher knife or a pitchfork, that the tips are smooth and flexible enough to not cause injury if fallen on. Make sure that costumes won’t get in the way when they are walking, which could cause them to trip. 
  • Many people are only interested in the treats part of the holiday, however there are a few who indulge in the tricks part. Explain to children of all ages the difference between tricks and vandalism. Throwing eggs at a house may seem funny but they need to know the other side of the coin as well, that clean up and damages can ruin Halloween for everyone. If they are caught vandalizing, make them clean up the mess they’ve made. 
  • Some sick people find Halloween a great night to hurt pets. Explain to your children that animal cruelty of any kind is not acceptable. Children may already know this on theirown, but stress the point that it’s not acceptable behavior. Make sure that they know that harming animals is not only morally wrong, but punishable by law and will not be tolerated. 
  • Be sure to show your children know 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. 
  • Small children should never be allowed to go out alone on Halloween. Make sure an teenage sibling or adult is with them. 
  • Instruct your children not to eat any treats until they bring them home to be examined by you. 
  • Make sure your child carries a flashlight, glow stick or has reflective tape on their costume to make them more visible to cars. 
  • Examine all treats for choking hazards and tampering before allowing your children to start eating them. Limit the amount of treats they eat. 
  • Adults and Teens can lower their risk for serious eye injury by not wearing decorative contact lenses. 
  • Ladies…the ultimate magic wand is pepper spray.

Have a safe and Happy Halloween…

See also

  • Date-Rape Drugs: Protecting Yourself

  •  How to Prevent an Assault (or reduce your chances) 

    PepperEyes.com is dedicated to providing you with the best personal protection products on the market to meet the security needs of you, your family members or your business, by assisting anyone who is unwilling to become a victim of crime.  If you want to take personal responsibility for yourself, your home or your business, buy our high quality discount personal protection products and arm yourself with the knowledge of the best way to stay secure in an ever-increasing violent world. In today’s society being equipped mentally and physically is no longer an option.  

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