AlertID, McGruff the Crime Dog help families keep their kids safe on Halloweenby jmaloni
Halloween is one of the most anticipated nights of the year. AlertID and the National Crime Prevention Council, home of McGruff the Crime Dog, offer tips on how families can stay safe while trick-or-treating.
"With all of the excitement that Halloween brings, it's easy to let your guard down," said NCPC President and CEO Ann M. Harkins. "By following these simple safety tips, families can stay safe while still enjoying a fun, spooky holiday."
Halloween safety tips:
•Parents should be familiar with homes and occupants on their child's trick-or-treat route. Parents may register for free at AlertID.com, enter their address and instantly see an easy-to-read map showing sex offenders residing or working in the vicinity, as well as view sex offenders wherever they are with the AlertID free mobile app. Members also receive alerts when new sex offender data becomes available, in addition to crime alerts in hundreds of cities nationwide.
•Children should wear reflective tape on their costumes and carry flashlights or glow sticks when trick-or-treating during evening hours.
•Snap a photo of the child prior to heading out on Halloween night and upload it, along with an accurate, up-to-date description, to AlertID's "My Family Wallet" (located on AlertID's free mobile app). If the child goes missing, members may access the information on their smartphones and send it instantly to law enforcement when every moment counts. Make sure the photo includes a complete view of the child from head to toe.
•Only approach homes that are well-lit, both inside and out; instruct children never to enter a home without parental permission.
•Children should always trick-or-treat under the supervision of a trusted adult or teenager.
•Younger children should always be accompanied all the way to the door of the home when trick-or-treating.
•In the event they are grabbed by a stranger, instruct children to yell "This person is trying to take me!" or "This is not my mother/father!" and to resist by pulling, walking, or running away.
•Stay in contact with your neighbors not only on Halloween night, but also throughout the year, by using AlertID's secure social network. See something suspicious in the neighborhood while out trick-or-treating? Members may send an alert to the neighborhood on AlertID's secure social network, or even instantly report it directly to the Department of Homeland Security.
"Being aware of potential threats in our neighborhoods is crucial to helping families and communities protect themselves," said Keli Wilson, mom of three and founder of AlertID. "Our mission is to provide information and tools to help protect families and communities not just on Halloween, but every day."
To sign up for a free AlertID account, or for more information, visit www.AlertID.com.