Halloween is a time for costumes, goodies and fun. Children venture into the dark on Halloween eve to collect candy and enjoy a fun evening, but don’t forget to stay safe during all the excitement. Now is the perfect time to sit down with your child and talk about safety. I will give you information on how to start the conversation and also some great Halloween Safety Tips. So, what are you waiting for? Start protecting your kids today with these easy tips!
Explain safety and strangers to your children in an easy to understand way. Start off simple by telling your child that you love them and will always do your best to protect them. Explain that you know your child is smart, so you want to teach him or her about staying safe. Sometimes kids get confused when you talk about “strangers”. Here’s a simple way to get them to understand. There are three types of people: “safe adults”, “strangers” and “kinda knows”. Below is an explanation of each. Halloween is a great time to talk about stranger safety with your child, but don’t forget to discuss this with your child regularly.
What is a “Safe Adult”?
A “Safe Adult” is someone is someone your child can always trust to go with or talk to. You should assign 3 trusted adults to be your child’s “Safe Adults”. This way your child knows if you can’t be there to pick him/her up from school, sports or a friends house, it’s always safe to go with these “Safe Adults”. Be sure to discuss this regularly, so your child always knows who is a “Safe Adult”. Every child (no matter what age) should have 3 “Safe Adults”. Sit down with your child and write these three people down. Try to keep the list to only 3 people, so it’s easy for your child to remember who the safe adults are.
What is a “Stranger”?
Explain to your children that a “stranger” is someone they don’t know or someone they have never met before. Be sure your child understands that sometimes a stranger (someone they don’t know) may try to trick them into going somewhere with them. Explain that it’s never okay to leave with someone they don’t know, no matter what the stranger may say to them. Give some examples: the stranger may say they lost their dog or cat, the stranger may offer candy, the stranger may even say “your mom told me to pick you up”. Make sure your child understands that it’s not okay to leave with someone who is not his/her “safe adult”. If a “stranger” tries to talk to them, they should find their “safe adult” right away.
What is a “Kinda Know”?
Explain to your children that a “kinda know” is someone they have met before, or even someone they may know. “Kinda knows” are not “Safe Adults”. This could be someone like: a neighbor, a soccer coach or even a parents friend. The real distinction is that a kinda know is not one of the 3 safe adults you and your child have chosen. Sometimes a “kinda know” poses more of a threat than a true “stranger” since your child may know this person, it’s easier for them to be tricked by the “kinda know”. Make sure you explain to your child that it’s not okay to go with a “kinda know” unless you tell them yourself that it’s okay or if you’re with your child. Again, reinforce that your child’s three “safe adults” are the only people you trust your child to go with unless you tell them otherwise.
HALLOWEEN SAFETY TIPS
Follow the guidelines below to stay safe this Halloween. Discuss them with your child before you leave the house, or even a few times before the big day.
- Plan your route ahead of time.
- Trick or Treat in Familiar Neighborhoods.
- Always Trick or Treat in groups, accompanied by an adult.
- Older children should always take friends when Trick or Treating.
- Don’t enter any houses without your “Safe Adult” or their permission.
- Only visit well lit houses. Don’t stop at Dark houses.
- Don’t cut across yards and stay out of back yards. Always stay in well-lit areas.
- Walk with your head up and be aware of your surroundings.
- Never get into a car or accept a ride with someone you “Don’t Know” or only “Kinda Know”.
- If someone tries to pull you away from your group or grab you, YELL: “HELP! This is not my Mom/Dad!!” Get attention by screaming yelling, kicking, run away and find your “Safe Adult” or your friends and get to safety.
- Always watch for cars backing up and turning.
- Stay on Sidewalks and out of the street.
- Carry a flashlight with fresh batteries after dark.
- Apply reflective tape to your costume for better visibility.
- Don’t approach unfamiliar pets or animals.
- Don’t eat any candy until it’s inspected by your “Safe Adult”.
- Consider having a party instead of Trick or Treating!
Stay safe this Halloween. It’s the perfect opportunity to start teaching your children about personal safety. Don’t be afraid to talk to your children about strangers and staying safe, it just may save their lives.
Here’s a copy of the Halloween Safety Tips in PDF format so you can print it and have it handy. HALLOWEEN SAFETY TIPS
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