Halloween & Basic Safety Tips for Children

October 30, 2009

Kids love Halloween! However, trick-or-treating isn’t what it used to be. It’s not as safe as it use to be to let kids walk the streets alone in groups. Trick-or-treating should be one of the great adventures of Halloween for kids! They can get dressed in scary costumes and go door to door, begging “Trick-or-Treat!” from neighbors or at the local mall. Many towns have a Harvest Festival so kids can Trick-or-Treat safely and from store to store. But going door to door is really the experience of childhood memories! It should be a fun time, without trouble and pain.

Anytime a child has an accident, it’s tragic. The last thing that you want to happen is for your child to be hurt on a holiday, it would forever live in the minds of the child and the family.

There are many ways to keep your child safe at Halloween, when they are more prone to accidents and injuries as well as daily. The excitement of children and adults at this time of year sometimes makes them forget to be careful. Simple common sense can do a lot to stop any tragedies from happening.

Parents please visit www.familywatchdog.us immediately to discover any presence of sex offenders are in your city, town, and/or neighborhood.

Teaching your kids basic everyday safety such as not getting into cars or talking to strangers, child safety and awareness, watching both ways before crossing streets and crossing when the lights tell you to, enrolling them in a personal safety course will help make them safer.

Children must understand that a stranger is a person whom you have never met. You may have seen the person before but don’t know anything about him or her. Most strangers are nice, but some are not. You can’t tell if a stranger is nice or not by looking at him or her. But you can tell if a situation is good or bad. Strangers don’t look like monsters, aliens, or the bad guys you see on TV. They look like ordinary people. However, “safety-net” individuals may include uniformed law-enforcement or security officers; a store salesperson with a name tag; the person in an information booth at a mall or other public venue; or a mother with children.

If a child is lost outside children need to be equipped with information as; never wander away from where they first became lost. If they stay put, changes are better that they will be found more quickly. If that place becomes too dangerous because of severe weather or another threatening situation, children should go to the nearest safe spot and wait for rescuers. CHILDREN SHOULD MAKE NOISE EITHER BY YELLING, BLOWING A WHISTLE, OR JUST SIMPLY ATTRACTING ATTENTION. This will help in bringing someone to their rescue.

What children should do ALL OF THE TIME for safety:

  • Be aware of dangerous situations. If a stranger asks you for help or to keep a “special secret,” it could be a dangerous situation. Say no and tell a trusted adult.
  • Trust instincts. If you feel scared or uncomfortable, get away from the situation. Make an excuse or just run away, and go to a safe place.
  • Know what to do. Think and yell NO, GO, YELL ANYTHING AND LOUD. If you’re in a dangerous situation, yell NO, RUN AWAY, YELL AS LOUD AS YOU CAN, and tell an adult.
  • Do not allow anyone to lure you for anything or any reason.
  • Implement the Buddy System at all times.
  • If anyone physically grabs you – use every part of your body as a weapon against your assailant. Slam your head backwards/forwards to hit any/all parts of the assailants body and use your elbows and palms to hit his/her body, flail-kick your legs like crazy (object is to get back down to the ground), bite, scratch, grab ears, poke eyes – every part of an individual’s body is a target just as every part of your body is a weapon. Cause as much chaos as humanly possible. An assailant does NOT expect you to react or respond in this manner. They expect you to freeze in fear. Do not become frozen in fear.
  • Ask your parents first. If a stranger invites you to go somewhere, offers you a gift, or just wants to talk, say you need to ask your parents for permission first. Then go do it.
  • STAY WITH FRIENDS. IT’S ALWAYS SAFER TO PLAY, WALK, TO BE PART OF A GROUP.

Set up a “family password/code” with your children in the event of an emergency. I incorporated this into our family as soon as my boys were old enough to understand the dangers of strangers. A friend may have to pick up your child/children somewhere other than school and you need a plan. Your child should know the code word and understand the importance. Your child should be prepared to respond to anyone who knows the code word. Make the word meaningful to your family so a real stranger would not be able to figure it out. Know what other activities a child may be attending, such as parties, school or mall functions.

Parents of trick-or-treating kids can get so caught up in the fun themselves that they might forget some simple safety ideas that could save everyone some trouble. Having a fun and safe Halloween will make it all worth while.

Below are a few tips that can be of further assistance during this Halloween as well as daily:

  • Make sure that an adult is going with the kids. If you can’t take them personally another parent or responsible adult must accompany them. Know the route your kids will be taking if you personally aren’t going with them. Children should go out during daylight hours only unless accompanied by a responsible adult.
  • Do not approach a vehicle for someone asking directions. ADULTS DON’T NEED DIRECTIONS FROM KIDS!
  • Make sure you set a time that they should be home by. Make sure they know how important it is for them to be home on time.
  • Plan a safe route so that all will know where everyone will be at all times. Set a time for their return home.
  • 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.
  • Trick-or-Treat only at familiar houses in your own neighborhood.
  • Instruct your children not to eat any treats until they bring them home to be examined by you.
  • Instruct your child to never go into the home of a stranger or get into their car.
  • Make sure your child carries a flashlight, glow stick or has reflective tape on their costume to make them more visible to cars.

Make Halloween a fun, safe and happy time for your kids and they’ll carry on the tradition that you taught them to their own families some day!

Take care and STAY SAFE!

Anny

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