It is so important that adults take steps to keep their children safe, and teach their children safety tips, on Halloween–these skills can also be used in everyday situations.

Halloween Safety Tips:

** Start trick-or-treating while it is still light out. Do not take short cuts by cutting through backyards, alleys, wooded areas, etc.

** Use your local Sex Offender Registry/Offender Watch or other notification program to see what houses to avoid on Halloween. Or alternately, to avoid sending your child as a babysitter, to a party or other event to a home that may be of concern.

** Chose a costume that is light colored and flame retardant. Avoid masks that obstruct visibility (chose make-up instead). Also check shoes so they are comfortable, slip resistant and allow for easy walking.
** Pay attention to what you child is wearing as a costume. Take time to talk with your child about the costume, to shop with them and encourage a fun–but appropriate– costume.

** If your child is attending a Halloween party in a private home or unfamiliar place, make an effort to get to know the parents/organization hosting the event. Introduce yourself to the parents of other children attending the event, or do an online search to get information about the organization. Or chaperone the event yourself.

** Maintain firm rules about curfew, drinking, safety and other relevant issues–be consistent with the discipline and be sure to praise your child when they follow the rules.

** Children should only trick or treat in groups, with a trusted adult(s) present.

** Give your children glo sticks, flash lights or reflectors so they are more visible, and so you are more able to keep an eye on them.

** You may consider having the child to carry a cell phone to contact you, or dial 911 in case of an emergency.

** Only trick or trick in houses that are well lit, and in neighborhoods you are familiar with.

**Avoid house with poor exterior lighting, dark areas like shrubs or trees or ditches.

** Avoid houses with poor walkways–crumbling concrete, obstructions, garbage in the yard, dimly lit paths, etc.

** Never enter a home of a stranger when trick or treating. Ask an adult before entering any home.

** Cross the street ONLY at crosswalks or under lighted areas. Do not run between cars.

** Eat only store bought candy, that is wrapped, and has been inspected by a trusted adult.

** Parents when you inspect candy, look for any signs the candy has been tampered with (rips, tears, holes, markings etc). Also make sure the candy is age appropriarte and that your child can eat it–some types of candy may pose a choking hazard for young children.

** Instruct children that they should not go into a stranger’s home to accept a treat, nor should they submit to any “tricks” or go off with any stranger for any reason.

** Teach children to scream for help if someone tries to grab them or if they feel unsafe.

RESOURCES:

Dru Sjodin National Sex Offender Website (Includes National Sex Offender Quick Search): http://www.nsopw.gov/

Halloween Safety Guide (Halloween Safety Tips for Adults, Kids, Pets, Drivers – a Great Source of Info about safety) : http://www.halloween-safety.com/

Megan’s Law Internet Site (Facts about sex offenders, How to protect yourself/family, Victim resources, Sex Offender public web site and more): http://www.meganslaw.ca.gov/

How to Protect Yourself and Your Family (Tips for Parents on how to protect and educate children against sexual abuse): http://www.meganslaw.ca.gov/protect.aspx?lang=ENGLISH

National Safety Council Halloween Safety: http://www.nsc.org/news_resources/Resources/Documents/Halloween_Safety.pdf

Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN) (Information, Hotline, State Resources and More): http://www.rainn.org/

Safe Kids Worldwide Halloween Safety Tips: http://www.safekids.org/tip/halloween-safety-tips

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