Posted: October 15th, 2013
Halloween is right around the corner and it’s time to start planning costumes, decorations, parties, and trick-or-treating. Keep these Halloween safety tips in mind when making your plans to make sure your kids are safe and have fun.
Halloween Safety Tips for Kids:
- Plan a Route. Discuss with your kids which streets are safe and which should be avoided, and if there are any specific homes or locations that should be avoided. Plan a route together so you can find your kids easily at all times. Make sure that kids are traveling on streets that they already know, and are already familiar with so there’s no chance of getting lost.
- No Cutting. Stick to the planned routes, and stay on the sidewalks. Don’t be tempted to cut through alleys, parking lots, or yards and make sure the route is always well lit. Only cross the street at corners and crosswalks.
- Lights On. Only visit homes that have the lights on, inside and out. Not only does this ensure that kids can see where they are going and make sure the area is safe, but turning off the lights is a common way of alerting trick-or-treaters that a home is either out of candy, or not participating.
- Check in regularly. If your kids carry a cellphone, have them call to check in at set times throughout the evening. If they don’t, plan regular check-ins at home when planning their route. Planning stops and check-ins with friends and neighbors throughout the neighborhood can reduce the number of times the kids will have to circle back.
- Have a Set End Time. If your neighborhood doesn’t have set hours for trick-or-treating, or if you want your kids in earlier than the designated end time, communicate that clearly. Make sure your kids know what time to be home, and make sure they have some way of telling the time!
- No Eating. Emphasize the importance of not eating treats and candy until everything can be brought home and checked by an adult. Kids might be tempted to eat candy right away, so make sure they eat a hearty meal before they go out to minimize the temptation. Also, advise kids against eating any homemade treats offered by strangers including ciders, popcorn, or candy apples.
- Never. Never go inside a house. Never get into a stranger’s car. Never follow a stranger somewhere.
Halloween Safety Tips For Parents:
- Costume Safety. Make sure your kids’ costumes are safe and visible in the dark. If their costumes are not made from bright colors, put some reflective tape on their treat bags, hats, shoes, or backs. Give kids glow sticks and flashlights to carry around so they are more visible. Also make sure that costumes are not too loose and floppy making it difficult to walk.
- Driving Safety. Drive extra slowly through residential streets keeping an eye out for kids. Kids often dart out into the street, or cross in the middle of a road. Making sure you’re traveling at a speed that will give you plenty of time to stop will help keep all the kids in the neighborhood safe.
Halloween activities should be a time for friends, family, and fun. Use these Halloween safety tips to help make sure everyone knows the rules and understands the importance of safety. Being safe is the first step to making sure that this Halloween is filled with fun tricks and sweet treats for the whole family.
Going to college for the first time can be an exciting new experience for students. These nine tips for college student safety will help keep students safe and give parents peace of mind about their child leaving home for the first time.
Privacy Is Not Always Good
As children grow older, they tend to be extremely concerned with invasions of their privacy. They do not want their parents to know everything they are doing. As new adults, students should remember that privacy is not always a good thing. Students should share their class schedules or work schedules with parents and friends, so that someone knows how to reach them in the case of an emergency.
Get A Good Emergency Kit
Many students would never think of getting an emergency kit before they need one. An emergency kit is helpful for both major emergencies and for minor first aid issues. Don’t forget to get one before you actually need it.
Learn Emergency Procedures
Whether the student is staying in the college dorm or an apartment complex, they will probably be given a copy of emergency procedures. Students should learn these emergency procedures for good college student safety. In an emergency, seconds count. Knowing the emergency procedures can sometimes mean the difference between life and death.
Build A Network
Upon arrival at school, students should begin to build a network. Talk to neighbors. Share schedules with neighbors and friends. Make agreements to watch out for each other. If someone tries to get into your house or room while you are away, neighbors may notice and be able to either stop them or at least get a good description.
Travel With A Group
One of the biggest risks to college student safety is walking across large campuses at night alone. One way to solve this problem is to use the safety network discussed in the previous tip. Instead of walking alone, get a friend or a group of friends to walk with you. Some campuses may even provide a number you can call to get a buddy to walk with you.
Whether you are walking in a group or alone, pay attention to your surroundings. While it may be tempting to listen to your favorite tunes while walking alone across a big dark campus, it might not be a good idea for your safety. Stay alert and pay attention to the things that are going on around you. Notice any suspicious behavior. If you see suspicious behavior, change your path to get to a place where there are people around.
Don’t Be Afraid To Call For Help
Sometimes problems may have been avoided if someone had called for help sooner. Don’t be afraid to call for help. Yes, you are only supposed to call 911 in an emergency, but if you think you are in an emergency situation, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Locks Were Made For A Reason
One of the most forgotten college student safety rules is to keep everything locked up. Lock your house. Lock your car. Lock your electronic devices. It only takes seconds for someone to get into an unlocked vehicle or house and take your most prized possessions.
Remember You Are Not Invincible
The most important thing is to remember you are not invincible. New college students may be feeling independence for the first time. They are leaving home and surviving on their own. They are adults. Remember that the most important part of being an adult is being responsible. Learn safety techniques and keep yourself safe.
As anyone who has been victimized by a robber or burglar knows, there are few feelings as disturbing as the sense of loss and violation that accompanies having your personal possessions stolen. The bad news is that while the police always take these crimes seriously, resources are limited and your loss of items worth $50, $500, or even $5,000 is not likely to trigger a huge police manhunt. The good news is that modern communications technologies are making it more and more possible to carry out an effective search for your stolen items.
Before You’re Burgled
Hindsight is 20-20, of course. But although it’s not possible for you to know for sure when or if you’ll be burgled, you can still take common-sense steps ahead of time to increase the chances of getting your things back.
- Copy down serial numbers on electronics and similar devices.
- Take quality digital photographs of high-value items, as well as of items with great personal or sentimental value.
- Install or sign up for a discreet home security system with video surveillance capability.
In The Aftermath
- File a police report immediately upon discovering your victimization. Not the next day, not the next week – right away.
- Start visiting the pawn shops in your area. Despite laws to discourage it, pawn shops are often the fences of first resort, especially for novice criminals. If you find your stuff, don’t try to buy it back or confront the pawn shop workers; ask the shop to hold it for you and then call the cops.
- Follow up at least weekly with the local police to see if their investigation has made progress.
In The Long Term
- Work your social network. Post pictures of the missing item(s) and ask your friends (especially those in geographical proximity) to keep an eye out for items for sale matching yours.
- Check eBay, Craigslist and Backpage daily. These sales sites have become the fences of first resort for the NON-novice thief, because they are difficult to track and the volume of ads makes it easier to hide stolen property. If you spot your items for sale, again, do NOT try to get them back; call the cops. You’ll find a much warmer response from the police when you’ve already found the perpetrator for them.
- There are a number of web sites that facilitate the search for stolen goods. One good one is Stolen911.com, which does automated searches for your items on a variety of different sales sites. There are also specific sites that specialize in one type of stolen item, like StolenBicycleRegistry.com
You may or may not be able to get back what was taken from you, but if you play smart and keep an ear to the ground, you do have at least a chance of seeing some of your property again.