A few more days for Halloween and your kids probably cannot wait for it. As a parent you have your work cut out for you, from getting the costumes to shopping for candy and decorations. Besides all these, the most important task you have is ensuring your child’s safety during a Halloween night.
This might be a fun season but it is not without its risks. In fact, a study by the Boston Globe showed a 50% increase in crime rates in the city of Boston over a period of four years all on October 31. You cannot make these things up. It may be because of all the alcohol or the anonymity created by the costumes, but there is no denying the need to take extra caution. Here is a little more about why you need to be cautious and what steps you can take to protect your child during Halloween.
In order to understand the importance of taking extra care you need to keep in mind the risks involved. Trick or treat expeditions are for the most part nothing more than harmless fun. However, the festivities have been shown to precipitate a variety of dangers that lay in the dark waiting for your precious little ones. This is the case especially when the kids get to go out alone. Here are 5 of the most common risks:
The association between Halloween and kidnapping might not be prevalent but it is definitely worth nothing. With kids out unsupervised and at odd hours, there is always the risk of abduction incidents. Fortunately, there is safety in the masses when children go trick or treating in crowded neighborhoods. However, as a parent you can never really be too careful so this is a risk you cannot afford to ignore, be precautious and talk to your kids about avoiding long conversations with strangers or giving too much information to people they don’t know.
Before we get into this one, here is a statistic that will shock you. The risk of your child getting hit by a car doubles on Halloween. Letting your children go out unsupervised means they have to do things like crossing the road all by themselves. This is dangerous whether it is at night or during the day.
Walking around in the dark also increases chances of smaller accidents. These include things like tripping, falling into ditches, attacks by guard dogs and getting trampled by massive crowds. Fortunately, these cases are few and far between especially if you take precautions as will be discussed below.
Children just can’t help but get lost whether it is at a new school or an old mall. During Halloween, this risk is increased by the fact that they are out in unfamiliar surroundings often at night. This is a nightmare not only for you as the parent but also for the kid.
As with kidnapping cases, instances of child abuse during Halloween nights are very rare. However, this does not mean that you should ignore the risk. Just because it doesn’t happen often it doesn’t mean that it cannot happen. It is therefore better to be safe than sorry.
One of the most powerful weapons you have at your disposal is technology when it comes to protecting your child during Halloween. Below are a few benefits you have to look forward to in case you decide to stay home while your kids go out trick-or-treating.
This is the most important benefit with GPS tracking technology proving to be very effective when it comes to remotely keeping an eye on your kids. You will get to know where they are at all times and this helps mainly with dangers like getting lost and kidnapping incidences.
If your child is going somewhere unfamiliar then an online map on which you can track your kid will come in handy. This allows them to easily navigate around the new area and find their way back home once the candy-gathering activities are complete.
This works when you are with the kids as most of these taxi apps do not allow minors to travel unaccompanied. However, there is no denying their convenience as all you have to do is order a ride for you and your kids so you can get home as soon as possible to ravage the treats.
In the event that your child runs into any sort of trouble it is important that they are able to reach you easily. Having a phone on them makes this super easy. It could also be the difference between life and death in emergency situations where they can easily get help with a simple call.
Finally, smartphones come in handy when your kids need a dark road lit up as most have inbuilt torches. Truth be told, your child is more likely to pack his or her phone than a bulky torch. This ensures safety not only from predators lurking in the shadows but also from innocent accidents. So do not let your child go falling into open ditches simply because they didn’t carry their phone.
There is safety in numbers and this tip is the best way to take advantage of this. You can have your children join their friends so there is someone looking out for them without interfering with their fun. This, however, is best practiced on older children.
For younger children, you will need to have an adult at hand to keep track of your kid during Halloween. It could be you, the nanny or even an older sibling. This is important because it is not wise to leave decisions like route to take and when to cross the road to children in their preteen years and earlier. So grab yourself a costume and join in on the fun for your kid’s sake.
There is truly no need to go somewhere distant and strange in pursuit of candy. This increases the risk of various dangers including getting lost and abduction. Instead, have your kids stick to your neighborhood where you and familiar neighbors can keep an eye out for them.
Your child should never under any circumstances enter a stranger’s home. This is something that you should make crystal clear if you want to ensure that they remain safe during Halloween trick or treat trips. You should also instruct them to avoid strangers especially those roaming the streets.
A study in 2017 shows that only 18% of kids use reflectors when trick or treating at night. This is a shockingly low percentage as reflectors have been proven to make a major difference when it comes to preventing traffic accidents involving pedestrians at night. So get some reflector strips at the back, front and sides of your child’s costume to ensure that even a space ship would spot him or her from space.
These Halloween safety tips will definitely come in handy this coming holiday. The important thing to do is to ensure that you are sufficiently prepared to keep an eye out for your kid whether in person or remotely.
A guest post by KidGuard, a technology services company that provides information & tools for parents to keep children safe online
Youth Technology Safety Specialist at KidGuard Dedicated to finding the best child safety measures for parents, grounded in research. Being knowledgeable about youth online usage is a key component of effective 21st-century parenting.