Simple tips to stay safe while trick-or-treating
Halloween is one of the most anticipated nights of the year for children. AlertID, the fastest growing free-to-use neighborhood safety network, 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."
Trick-or-Treat safety tips include:
•Parents should plan their child's trick-or-treat route and be familiar with homes and occupants on the 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 in the neighborhood.
•NCPC's McGruff Mobile app with AlertID also lets members receive alerts when new sex offender data becomes available, in addition to crime alerts in the community and thousands 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 your 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 online and on AlertID's free mobile app). If a child goes missing, parents can 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-lighted, 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.
•Encourage older children to trick-or-treat in groups, because there is safety in numbers.
•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.
"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."
The National Crime Prevention Council is a nonprofit leader in crime prevention. For more than 30 years, its symbol of safety, McGruff the Crime Dog, has delivered easy-to-use crime prevention tips to millions of adults, teens and children. Law enforcement agencies nationwide rely on it to make an impact on personal safety and crime every day.
For more information on how NCPC can be a public safety expert, or how to "Take A Bite Out Of Crime," visit www.ncpc.org.