Ruthann Sprague, NRA's Refuse To Be A Victim® Program Coordinator, sent up the following tips for keeping the little ones safe during their Halloween extravaganza:
Make your child's Halloween an unforgettable holiday memory that'll last a lifetime! Trick or Treating should be one of life's great adventures. Dressed up in scary costumes as they go door to door begging for treats from neighbors and friends. If they Trick-or-Treat safely then it's nothing but fun. Here's some preventative measures to make sure it stays that way.
- Children should always go trick or treating with a responsible adult. If there's a group of kids, two or three parents should go along to keep an eye on things.
- Have the older ones buddy up. Just make sure that they stay together as a group if you decide they're responsible enough to go without an adult.
- If they're on their own, give them a cell phone and plan a safe route so you know where they'll will be at all times. And set a time for their return home.
- Tell your children not to cut through back alleys or fields. Staying in populated, well lighted areas is always safer then going off the beaten track. Make sure to explain the dangers — if they're old enough to go it alone then they're old enough to know what can happen and how to prevent it from happening.
- Make sure they know never go into the home or car of a stranger. Explain why this is dangerous and what to do when a stranger approaches and tries to talk to them.
- Have your child carry a flashlight, glow stick or put reflective tape on their costume so they are visible to cars.
- Give them a snack before heading out. That way it'll be easier for them to avoid eating treats until you have checked them out.
- Inspect wrapped treats for tears, pin holes, any signs of tampering.
- Only allow them to keep commercially wrapped goodies.
- Look for potential choking hazards for younger children. Gum, peanuts, hard candies or small toys may present a hazard for little ones.
With a little planning you and your children can have a safe and happy Halloween.