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Looking for a Halloween safety tip or two to share with your kids this year? 'Tis the season to beware as dangerous strangers also come out for the costume parade.
Halloween is prime-time for pedophiles. When a child is at risk, Halloween becomes a nightmare. So make sure to review this Halloween Safety Tip List with your kids before hitting the streets for sweets!
1. Never go trick-or-treating alone.
Not safe and not nearly as fun! Always go with a trusted adult (one that both parent AND child are comfortable with). You older kids, if you’re going without your parents, make sure your folks know what neighborhoods you are planning to visit and when you plan to be home.
2. Go in a group.
Two people do NOT make a group – that’s a couple. Go with at least 3+ people. The more in the group the less likely you'll be a target for bad guys (pedophiles, abductors, pranksters…). You, a friend, and a parent – that’s 3 people and a good group to start with.
3. Never go inside a house.
Never. Even if you know the people… unless your parents are with you and they say its ok (teenagers, especially you!). Remember that 90% of all sexually abused children were molested by someone they know. Pedophiles like alone time with their victims and Halloween gives these monsters a great opportunity to get their victims alone.
4. Too creepy? Trust your instincts!
If you get a bad feeling about knocking on a certain door, SKIP THAT HOUSE. There are plenty of houses with more candy. It’s not worth the risk. Parents should always go up to the door with younger children.
5. Never approach a vehicle.
No really. Don’t. Even cars that look empty could be full of surprises... in a not so good way. The supposedly “empty vehicle” is a favorite trick for pranksters and abductors.
6. If someone grabs you, DRAW ATTENTION to yourself.
Kick, go limp, yell or scream “Help! This is not my dad/mom! This person is trying to kidnap me!” Whatever you do, draw attention to yourself and try to get away. That’s your best chance of getting out of a nightmarish abduction.
7. Don’t eat open candy or homemade treats.
It’s an old trick, but some people still put drugs and other things in the prizes they hand out. Stick to the store-bought candy with the wrappers still intact.
8. If someone gives you something sick or disturbing, tell someone immediately.
Condoms are NOT tricks you should find in your candy bag. That’s evidence. It’s reportable. Kids, tell your parents. Parents, tell the cops.
9. Always use a flashlight.
It helps drivers and other trick-or-treaters to see you… and it helps you to see other people approaching you. Reflective tape and glow sticks are a good idea too – but they don’t replace the flashlight.
10. Don’t go where it’s too dark or isolated.
Even with your trusty flashlight, don’t brave the dark streets or dark houses! Bad guys like the dark. Only go on well-lit roads and only approach doors to well-lit houses.
It happened during the early hours on Halloween morning.
My husband was working in a nice family neighborhood when he noticed a police car pulling up. It stopped just down the street. Then another one came, then another, and another! Soon, police were swarming the whole block.
He watched as the officers quietly approached a house.
Suddenly, they stormed in. The tumult of loud voices and banging doors shattered the quiet morning air. A man - half dressed, looking confused and angry - was pulled out of the house and taken away in one of the police cars.
After the uproar subsided, my husband was able to catch a word with one of the officers.
“What’s going on?” he asked.
“Just rounding up a few pedophiles before the trick-or-treaters come out.”
Cops can only arrest the child molesters that they can pin evidence on, and that evidence can be hard to get. Which means a few monsters will be taken away this year.
The others are passing out candy, hoping to find a new target.
So once again - review that Halloween safety tip list with your family. Keep it fun. Keep it safe. And have a Happy Halloween!
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