This weekend, as your little ghost, goblin, princess or hero goes door-to-door to collect treats for Halloween, keep these “Trick or Treat” safety tips in mind.
Know Which Homes to Avoid
Before Halloween, visit the database of Florida sexual offenders and predators maintained by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Map out areas you may want to avoid while trick-or-treating, and learn the faces of those you’ll want your child to stay away from.
Florida law prevents sex offenders under felony supervision from participating in Halloween activities. This means they aren’t allowed to distribute candy, or put up lights and decorations. Additionally, there must be a sign at their residence stating they don’t participate in Halloween. If you think someone’s not abiding by the law, you can call your local sheriff’s office to have them check in.
Take Steps for Pedestrian Safety
Tragically, on what should be a fun-filled night, children are more than twice as likely to be struck by a car and killed on Halloween than any other day of the year. Generally, you should accompany children under 12 as they trick or treat, and you’ll want to equip them – no matter their age – with a flashlight or glow stick. In addition, you can place reflective tape on the back of their costume or candy bag. This will ensure they are seen by any passing vehicles.
Be Mindful of Allergens
In recent years, the Teal Pumpkin Project has gained momentum worldwide. If you see a teal pumpkin at a home you’re visiting, this indicates they have non-food treats to accommodate children with food allergies. If your children have food allergies, help them understand which candies they can eat, and why it’s dangerous to eat others.
And of course, when your child arrives back home, make sure to examine all treats before you allow your child to eat them. Take out any non-factory wrapped treats and anything your child may be allergic to or unable to chew.
The keys to home security and Halloween safety are one in the same: have a plan. Talk to your neighbors and kids, and get everyone on the same page. Halloween may be scary, but that doesn’t mean it has to be dangerous. And from all of us at Crime Prevention Security Systems, have a safe and happy Halloween.