Not only is October Crime Prevention Month, it’s also trick-or-treat time, and a great opportunity to think of child safety – both for your own kids, and for the pint-sized pirates and super heroes you can expect on your steps next Monday evening. The National Crime Prevention Council offers some great tips for Halloween safety, and this year they are joined by a long list of other sources who want you and yours to get the most out of “All Hollow’s Even” – the original name for Halloween. Here’s a sampling of the sound advice you can find, starting with your own home:
- 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.
- Turn on outdoor lights (be sure to check and replace burned-out bulbs).
- Wet leaves should be swept from sidewalks and steps.
- Restrain pets so they do not inadvertently jump on or bite a trick-or-treater.
- Ask your Neighborhood Watch or citizens’ group to patrol the community.
- Report any suspicious or criminal activity to your local police or sheriff’s department.
Plenty of credible resources provide Halloween advice, and here are some good ones I checked out myself with a quick Google search – you can probably find others.
- National Crime Prevention Council
- US Consumer Product Safety Commission
- American Academy of Pediatrics
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
And when it comes to planning the neighborhood campaign itself, how about these precautions?
- Drive slowly all evening—you never know what creature may suddenly cross your path.
- Make sure older kids go out with friends. Younger children should be accompanied by an adult. If you live in a rural area, offer all kids a ride in the car.
- Together, map out a safe route so you know where they’ll be. Remind them not to take shortcuts through backyards, alleys, or playing fields.
- Remind kids not to enter a strange house or car.
- Try to get kids to trick-or-treat while it is still light out. If it is dark, make sure the children are carrying flashlights that work.
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