Stay Safe and Aware This Halloween

Lily, Jenny, Julia Halloween 2005

Stay Aware: The Halloween “Trick” that will “Treat” you and your family to safety all year long

The above pic is from when we all used to Trick-or-Treat together. But this year, Jenny is away in college (I’m leaving next week to visit her for the first time!) Lily will go to a friend’s party (dressed as a toddler in a tiara), and only Julia will invite her parents out to chaperone her life-size Lalaloopsy Doll self. (My silent mantra: RESIST the candy overload.)

Yes, Halloween is just around the corner. But besides the costumes, the candy, the decorations, and all the fun preparations, I hope you’ll also give much attention to the safety of your trick-or-treaters.

As part of its One Million Safer Kids project, Kidpower, a global leader in personal safety education for children, is reminding parents that the trick to having a fun, safe Halloween is to Stay Aware and to teach your children to do the same.

Kidpower Executive Director Irene van der Zande founded Kidpower 20 years ago after protecting a group of children (including her own kids) from a man who was threatening to kidnap them. Here are her suggestions and precautions:

 As adults, we need to Stay Aware that:

• Safety does not take a holiday. Don’t let the relaxed atmosphere and distractions of holiday activities fool you into getting trapped by the “Illusion of Safety.” Stay aware of where your children are, whom they are with, and what they are doing.

• Kids need to be reminded of their safety rules. Last Halloween was a year ago, and that’s a long time in the life of a child. Review the rules about trick or treating with your children – and have them repeat the rules back to you. Remind kids to Stay Aware, Stay Together, Check First before they change their plan, and Think First if you are not available. Give kids a plan for how to get help if they get lost.

• People are safer crossing the street if they can see. Avoid costumes that make it hard to Stay Aware of cars and other hazards.

• Kids need adult supervision to stay safe. Even if your kids really want to, don’t let them go out without adult protection until they have the knowledge and skills they need to take charge of their emotional and physical safety.

• Giving the right answer is not the same as being prepared to make the safest choice. Just knowing what to do is not enough – you also have to be able to do it even if you feel embarrassed, confused, or uncomfortable. Give children and teens opportunities to practice personal safety skills successfully, and show you that they can use them consistently before deciding to let them go anywhere on their own.

For more information, read the full article, Halloween Safety ~ The Kidpower Way: A Grab Bag of Safety Treats and Tricks for Your Family!

And, learn how you can make a difference by joining Kidpower’s new One Million Safer Kids campaign.