This year more than ever we need Halloween’s return to normalcy. At Second Call Defense we understand our members’ dedication to protecting their families and offer these tips to keep our kids safe during this exciting, scary, sometimes dangerous time of the year.
First statistics you should be aware of, as a grim reminder of just how dangerous Halloween is, that we are not being paranoid:
If your child is asking to Trick or Treat with their friends, on their own this year – here are some helpful tips. To help determine if they are ready ask yourself this question: What have I taught my child about their personal safety to prepare them for this awesome new adventure? Of course, each family must make these decisions based on knowing your own child, their maturity level, the other kids they would be walking around with, the neighborhood, traffic, lighting, and, if you have any known predators in the area. (You can check this on your state’s sexual offender website.)
Speaking of predators, be aware of and avoid the addresses of sex offenders on your children’s route https://www.nsopw.gov Department of Justice National Sex Offenders Public Website.
Obviously, for younger children, we always recommend adult supervision. This is not just because of concerns about “predators in our midst, it is more about keeping kids safe from the distracted drivers or them wandering off in the chaos of the many costumed groups of people.
First a warning about the hard facts of Halloween
- On average children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween than on any other day of the year.
- 130% more fatal crashes on Halloween than any other night.
- Property Crimes are up 24% on Halloween Night.
- The general times for Halloween trick or treating are from 6:00 pm-10:00 pm, also the peak times for violent crimes.
- We as parents can eliminate or greatly reduce the safety risks for our children by following a few simple common-sense rules.
Here are what the experts on child safety recommend:
- Children under the age of 13 should not be alone at night without adult supervision. If kids are mature enough to be out without supervision, remind them to stick to familiar areas.
- Walk Safely, plan a route, walk with a group in a well-lit area.
- Cross the street at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks.
- Look left, right, and left again when crossing, and keep looking as you cross.
- Put electronic devices down and keep heads up and walk, don’t run, across the street.
- Teach children to make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them.
- Always walk on sidewalks or paths. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible. Children should walk on direct routes with the fewest street crossings.
- Watch for cars that are turning or backing up. Teach children to never dart out into the street or cross between parked cars. Trick or Treat With an Adult.
- Decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers and, if possible, choose light colors.
- Choose face paint and makeup whenever possible instead of masks, which can obstruct a child’s vision.
- Have kids carry glow sticks or flashlights to help them see and be seen by drivers.
- When selecting a costume, make sure it is the right size to prevent trips and falls.
Drive Extra Safely on Halloween
- Slow down and be especially alert in residential neighborhoods. Children are excited about Halloween and may move in unpredictable ways.
- Take extra time to look for kids at intersections, on medians, and on curbs.
- Enter and exit driveways and alleys slowly and carefully.
- Eliminate any distractions inside your car so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings.
- Drive slowly, anticipate heavy pedestrian traffic, and turn your headlights on earlier in the day to spot children from greater distances.
- Popular trick-or-treating hours are 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. so be especially alert for kids during those hours.
Adults Costumes and Concealed Carry
- If you’re going to carry your firearm carry concealed. Second Call Defense reminds adults who will be attending parties, or trick or treating with their children in costume, to carry concealed and resist the temptation to make your firearm part of your costume. It’s a deadly weapon, not a “prop.”
- If you’re handing out candy at home, holster your gun, store your guns safely, out of sight and reach of children.
- As always, make sure you follow state and federal law!
- For more information visit safekids.org.
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This Halloween don’t get “tricked” into thinking that if you justifiably used your weapon in self-defense, the threat is over. Often, it’s just the beginning, you can be arrested, jailed, sued, fired, and bankrupted, even when you do what you think is right. Don’t face the devastating legal and financial aftermath of acting in self-defense alone. Sign up now, enter the offer code HALLOWEEN and get the first month of the most comprehensive protection available anywhere, free!
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