Yes, it is that time of year, I’m sure you all know, because like those of us here at the Monique Burr Foundation for Children (MBF) with kids, you’ve probably been readying costumes; and like all of us, with or without little trick-or-treaters at home, preparing jack-o-lanterns and candy as well!
But in our preparations, we would be remiss if we didn’t stop and take a few moments to give you some safety tips to keep your ghosts, goblins and (yes I know I’m out of touch with the latest and greatest costumes) trick-or-treaters safe on this scariest of nights out and about. So here are MBF’s top safety rules:
- Light and Bright Saves the Night – so your child can be seen – which increases their safety factor tremendously – if it’s a dark costume, put glow in the dark paint or tape on, or carry a glow stick.
- Off the Beaten Path Means Deal with Parents’ Wrath – parents/caregivers should be with kids while out trick or treating, if possible (even with older kids, and if it’s not cool… just hang back a little and give them some space, but at least you can watch out for them from a distance). If for some reason you’re not going to be with the kids, let them know they are to stick to main roads and not deviate from the path or there will be consequences. Better yet, sit down together and devise a map of their route with homes they will visit so that if needed, you can trace their path and easily find them. Kids should not deviate from the agreed upon route or take shortcuts.
- Safety Rules are Valuable Tools! Teach your kids the MBF 5 Safety Rules to help keep them safe safe, review our 5 Safety Rules and teach them to your kids. Make sure they understand not to go into homes or cars with people – even people they may know to get more or special candy, teach them about “tricks” and “bribes” and teach them to stay with their group’s adults and other kids to be safe! But on Halloween night, other safety rules are just as important so make sure you remind your kids of basic safety rules like look for cars before you cross the street, stay on the sidewalk, walk, don’t run, don’t walk in between cars, etc… You may think your child remembers the rules they’ve been taught, but on a night as important as Halloween where they’re focused on racking up as much candy as legally allowed, they may need a reminder of the safety rules!
- Become a Stranger Danger Roving Ranger! – Okay, I know, with that one you’re thinking I’ve lost my mind… but I haven’t really. More than 50,000 children are abducted each year in non-family related cases, so it is a real danger and on a night when so many kids are out and about in the streets, a predator could have easy access to a child who is lost or not paying attention, who wanders away from their “group,” or simply doesn’t follow the rules and goes inside with someone to get some “special candy.” So not only do we as adults need to look out for our own children, we should also be on alert for anything suspicious with any other child as well. Let’s all work together on Halloween and watch out for all kids – Let’s all Speak Up and Keep Florida’s Children Safe!
Now go out there and have a Safe and Happy Halloween. From All of US at the Monique Burr Foundation for Children – We wish you Treats, Treats and more Treats, No Tricking!