Child safety is always important, but it should especially be on the minds of all parents as we get close to Oct. 31.
While we were teaching KidSafe’s Abduction Prevention lesson, the discussion turned to safety at Halloween, and we were shocked by what some of these kids are allowed to do.
So to help you out this Halloween, we've got some tips and ideas for you to think about if your children are participating in knocking on doors of strangers and asking for candy. Just some short and sweet tips to make it a fun and safe evening for your little trick-or-treaters.
For more safety tips, visit the KidSafe Foundation online.
Editor's note: This content has been posted here with the authors' permission.
This seems like common sense, but many kids told us they were planning to walk around by themselves. If your child does not have a group to go with, you need to go with him or her.
Many of the kids said their moms had to stay home to give out candy. Really? That's more important than keeping your child safe? No! If you're worried about time management, set a time that you will walk around with your child and then come home and give out candy. That's a win-win.
Some children told us they are allowed to go to every house in their neighborhood.
Take the time to check your state's sex offender registry before leaving the house.
Children shared some pretty frightening stories about knocking on the door and being told to come in and get candy. But even if kids don't understand the danger of going into a house, you do. So before your child goes trick-or-treating, sit down and have a discussion about the rules.
One student shared a near-miss attack by a pit bull last year.
Tell your children not to eat any candy until you have looked it over and deemed it safe (and you have picked out some of the favorites for yourself).
If your children are going out with their friends and not with a grown-up, make sure you set up designated times for them to check in.
Tell your children to walk on the sidewalk, if there is one. If they are walking on the street, and especially if they are wearing dark costumes, a flashlight is highly recommended.
Remind them that adults they do not know should not be asking kids for help; they should be asking other adults. If approached, they need to report this to a grown-up immediately.