October 31 st is one of the most anticipated nights of the year for many children. The promise of candy, staying up late, school parties with friends, and the chance to dress up as their favorite character keep’s them excited and looking forward to Halloween night all year long. As adults we often get caught up in the fun of it all too; seeing all the kids dressed up, dressing up for a party with friends, and getting into the spirit with good natured tricks.
However, Halloween has a dark side lurking behind those silly scares and sugar highs. With over 175 million Americans hitting the streets to trick or treat last year crime rates also increase more then any other night of the year. Last year, there was a 17% increase in petty crime related automobile claims such as broken vehicle windows, keyed vehicles, egged vehicles, and minor dents and dings. Violent crimes saw an increase of up to 50% on Halloween night! A night full or tricks and masked strangers is enough to make anybody a little jumpy so how do you stay safe while still letting your kids enjoy the holiday?
Plan your route in a familiar neighborhood. Make sure that you map out your
route and take note of any sex offender homes in the neighborhood (avoid these
Try to go out early so that you can avoid being out to long after dark.
Trick-or-Treat as a group with adults to supervise. It is safe and more fun!
Only approach houses with the porch light on and NEVER go into a house.
Use the sidewalks and cross streets at the corners using traffic signals and
crosswalks. Children are FOUR times more likely to get hit by a car on
Halloween then any other night.
Watch for cars that are turning or backing up. Make sure you review with your
children to make eye contact with drivers before they cross the street and to
NEVER dart into the street or cross a street between parked cars.
Use face paint instead of a mask if possible. If you must use a mask, make sure
your child has a clear path of vision.
If your child’s costume involves a weapon, make sure it looks fake and fake guns
have an orange tip. Tell your child to not make threatening gestures at strangers
with the fake weapons and if a law enforcement officer asks them to put down
their toy weapon, they should immediately follow the instructions and put it down.
Everybody in your group should either have a flashlight, be wearing glow jewelry,
wearing a blinking light, or use reflective tape on their costumes. Make sure you
are making yourself visible.
Review with your children how to call 9-1-1 if there is an emergency and what
they should do if the group gets separated.
Teen Safety for Halloween
Set a reasonable curfew with your teens for their Halloween activities.
Know which neighborhood your teen is trick or treating in.
If teens are going out as a group still have regular check in points (at the end of a
block, etc.) with an adult.
If your teen’s costumes involve a fake weapon, make sure that are aware of the
responsibility that goes along with carrying that weapon. Their fake weapon
should be recognizable as a fake, they should not make threatening gestures at
anybody, and if law enforcement asks them to put the weapon down, they should
follow instructions immediately.
If your teen is going to a Halloween party know the location and encourage them
to stay at one party instead of hopping from party to party.
Know which adults will be present at the parties or trick or treating.
Make sure teen drivers understand the additional dangers of driving on
Driving on Halloween
Slow down and be on high alert when driving on Halloween; especially in
residential neighborhoods. Children are excited and unpredictable in their
Take an extra moment to look for children at intersections, on curbs, and
between cars when turning or pulling in/out of a space.
Enter and exit driveways slowly and carefully
Eliminate distractions in your vehicle so that you concentrate on the road and
your surroundings (do not be on your phone or trying to open candy.)
Turn your headlights on earlier in the day, give yourself ample time, and
anticipate heavy pedestrian traffic, especially in neighborhoods.
If possible, at least 1 adult should stay home
Your house should be well lit both inside and out
If you have pets make sure they are secure in your home.
Make sure all doors and windows are locked, especially if you will not be home.
Park your vehicles in the garage instead of leaving them on the street or in the
You can install extra security measures like a smart camera or doorbell camera
that allows you to check on your home via smartphone for extra security when
Be aware of your surroundings always.
Look around carefully before crossing across driveways and streets (look for
brake lights, people getting into cars, headlights).
Keep electronic devices on you for quick communication but keep them put away
unless needed. Keep your head and eyes up while out.
Be aware of people who jump out and try to scare you. Be alert and know the
difference between the simple tricks and real danger.
If you have a neighborhood watch then get as many volunteers as possible to
patrol your streets. More eyes watching for trouble is never bad.
Trust your gut and if a house feels wrong avoid it.
Notify law enforcement immediately of any suspicious or unlawful activity.
Halloween is an exciting and fun holiday that many families enjoy each year. We all love experiencing these moments with our families but amidst all the fun as parents it is our responsibility to also teach them about safety. Halloween is a perfect opportunity to talk about staying safe and practicing good situational awareness. Stay in the moment and have a fun and safe Halloween.
Huge shout-out to our awesome Guest Blogger, Ashley! To learn more about our amazing Guest Blogger, Ashley & safety tips click on the link https://luxelifewith3.com/about-me/