It’s that time of year again. Kids dress up like superheroes, monsters and princesses pillage neighborhoods in search of real chocolate candy. It’s one of the few long-standing family and community oriented traditions we still have in this country. Neighbors talk to neighbors.
I’m not the biggest fan of halloween myself, but I love it for little kids. You know, the ones that dress up like penguins, Paw Patrol and, even once, Jake from State Farm. The pure joy of getting into costume and getting candy for free is heartwarming to watch. But we as parents know that this night can also bring some dangers.
Here are 6 ways to be safe and have fun on Halloween:
1) Go With Your Kids - I don’t like to see kids out by themselves. As parents you should accompany your kids on their trick or treat venture. The biggest danger for your children on Halloween isn’t a ghoul or evil clown, it’s being hit by a car. Make sure you keep your kids in sight and don’t be distracted by your phone.
2) Be Aware of Creepy Clowns - Remember last year and the terrifying clowns that were luring children into the woods in South Carolina? That’s not something your forget. In 2017 we still have to be weary of clowns thanks to the movie remake of Stephen King’s “It”.
Across the country, idiots have been tying red balloons to sewer drains to mimic a scene from “It”. In the movie, and novel, a clown named “Pennywise” ties a balloon to a sewer grate to lure children close to him. He then pulls them into the sewer and terrible things happen. If you see a red balloon tied to a grate on Halloween, pop the balloon and move on.
Image credit: KGUN
There will be “nightmare” clown outfits this halloween. Be ready to see them. I don’t think many of them will actually harm anyone, they just want the attention. They want to scare you. In the end you need to understand it’s halloween and it’s not illegal to dress like a clown. Be on the lookout for them and avoid them.
3) Choose the Homes You Visit in Advance - I’m afraid In 2017 we’re past going up to stranger’s home and getting candy. If you don’t know the homeowner, at least know the neighborhood in which you are haunting on halloween.
It’s also a good idea to check out the sex offender registry to make sure you avoid those homes. You can download the NSOPW app (National Sex Offender Public Website) from your phone and do a one mile radius search for registered sex offenders.
Also, when you go to a house to trick or treat, never enter a home. Teach your kids that. In my neighborhood we have a few families that go all out for halloween and create their own haunted houses for people to enjoy. While they’re embracing the spirit of the Great Pumpkin, don’t let your child enter a home of a person you don’t know.
4) Check Candy - When you return with your bounty of sugary awesomeness give it a look before you let your kids dig in. Look for wrappers that have been tampered with in some way. You also need to make sure there is no pot in your kids bag, too. Yep, edible marijuana is a big deal now. And if you didn’t know, you can by candy that is infused with pot. These products are made to look like candy so make sure you check out your kids stash.
5) Light Up the Night - The biggest danger to kids on halloween is not being kidnapped or drugged; it’s being hit by a car. Kids wear dark costumes and get a little rowdy as they trick or treat which can lead to an accident. Make sure you have a flashlight and besides the one on your phone. To keep your kids safe and add the element of fun, give them glow sticks and glow necklaces. It’ll also make tracking your Batman a little easier for you as well.
6) Go Home Early - Nothing good happens for kids after 9 PM on Halloween. So go home and start loading up on sweets and watching Charlie Brown. Besides, those idiot nightmare clowns will be making appearances as the night goes on.
Have a fun, safe halloween! For more tips on family safety and home security delivered right to your inbox, consider The Secure Dad Newsletter. If you want a laugh, check out my spoof article on supernatural situational awareness for haunted houses.