safety

Keep the “Treat” in Trick-or-Treat

Some may not admit it, but Halloween and trick-or-treat are as much fun for parents as for children. Seeing the children’s excitement in picking out Halloween costumes and trick-or-treating with friends makes a parent’s heart warm.
Some may not admit it, but Halloween and trick-or-treat are as much fun for parents as for children. Seeing the children’s excitement in picking out Halloween costumes and trick-or-treating with friends makes a parent’s heart warm. Such an enjoyable time can quickly turn sour unless safety remains an integral part of the festivities. Following these tips can help ensure many fond memories are made. Don’t worry; they don’t hinder the fun in any way, for the children or for the child within us all.
  • Have adequate supervision. Small children should never be left alone at any time during trick-or-treating, including when going door-to-door and when approaching a home. They should always be accompanied by an adult. If older children are allowed to go without an adult, they should always stay with a group of friends and follow a prearranged route, preferably in your own neighborhood. They should also be required to arrive back at home at a time certain.
  • Beware of strangers. Where children are, there you will find child predators. Particularly during Halloween, tell the children to never respond to the call of a stranger, never go into a strange home and, of course, never go anywhere with a strange adult.
  • Establish “street safety” rules. Even if mom or dad is with the children, it is difficult to control every move they make. Before going out, set some firm rules for behavior on the neighborhood streets, such as looking both ways when crossing the street, never hide behind or between parked vehicles, cross only at street corners, stay on sidewalks, and wear some reflective clothing.
  • Make your own home safe. Children may be trick-or-treating at your home on Halloween, so help keep them safe as well. Remove from your lawn or sidewalk objects that could cause children to slip, trip or fall. Also, make sure the area is well lighted. If you have pets, keep them restrained and away from trick-or-treaters. 
  • Wait until you get home! Have your children wait until trick-or-treating is over and you are back at home before they start consuming their loot. Mom and Dad need to inspect the items to ensure proper wrapping, packaging and the overall propriety of the treats. Insider tip: A big meal before trick-or-treat will curb the appetite for those sugar-filled treats when they get home, at bedtime.
  • Emergency identification. Secure to your children’s clothing emergency contact information such as your name, address and telephone number. Ensure the children know their address and phone number. While you’re at it, it is a good idea to provide the older children with a cellular phone and instructions on how to use or local emergency numbers. 
  • Report suspicious activity. At the first sign of anything out of the ordinary, contact law enforcement. Suspicious persons, vandalism, violent acts, whatever it may be, report it. The health and safety of your child and many others depends on you. 
This is not an exhaustive list, but you can see a little common sense and planning go a long way. At the end of the night, when they’re tucked in bed, safe and sound, pat yourself on the back for protecting them and providing a memorable . They may not realize it for twenty more years, but the rules and traditions you established will be the same things that keep their children safe and happy on Halloween Night.
Biography
 

Alan Hammond is a law enforcement official, freelance writer and former educator.  Shonna Hammond is a master teacher, writer and consultant.  The Hammonds reside in Lexington, Kentucky and they can be reached in care of this publication or at ashwriting@insightbb.com.


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