One of the spookiest nights of the year should also be one of the safest.
Here are 16 Halloween Safety Tips to discuss and try out with your children.
1 Test your child’s safety IQ — and yours! Does your child know who to ask for help if he’s lost? Or what to do if a nice lady asks for directions?
2 Use games to practice “What would you do…” scenarios
3 Train them to fight back example Screaming “Stay bac
k, you’re not my parent!” when sensing an attack. Explain that they’ll probably never have to use any of these techniques, but you want them to know what to do — and that knowing these things will help them feel safer
4 Do some prep work — just in case! Did you know it takes parents about two hours to gather all the information law officials need to find a missing child? Scary stat: According to the Department of Justice, 74 percent of the children murdered by non-family members are killed within the first three hours of abduction. Always keep current pictures of your kids at hand, their fingerprints and photos of birthmarks/scars to help you maximize this crucial time should the unthinkable occur.
5 Check your Cyber hood Watch on Digital Defense and take note of the houses with registered sex offenders.
6 Use caution while driving during trick-or-treating hours- watch for kids darting out between parked cars
7 Review with children how to call 9-1-1 (or their local emergency number) if they ever have an emergency or become lost.
8 If your older children are going alone, plan and review the route that is acceptable to you. Agree on a specific time when they should return home. Only go to homes with a porch light on and never enter a home or car for a treat.
9 Pedestrian injuries are the most common injuries to children on Halloween, remind Trick-or-Treaters to make eye-contact with drivers before crossing a street/driveway.
10 Stay in a group and communicate where they will be going.
11 Carry a fully charged cellphone for quick communication.
12 To keep homes safe for visiting trick-or-treaters, parents should remove from the porch and front yard anything a child could trip over such as garden hoses, toys, bikes and lawn decorations.
13 Parents should check outdoor lights and replace burned-out bulbs.
14 Wet leaves or snow should be swept from sidewalks and steps.
15 Restrain pets so they do not inadvertently jump on or bite a trick-or-treater.
16 Wait until children are home to sort and check treats. Though tampering is rare, a responsible adult should closely examine all treats and throw away any spoiled, unwrapped or suspicious items.