Friday, October 14, 2011

Halloween Safety

I really wish everyone a happy and safe Halloween. With all of the excitement for Halloween people tend to be less careful than they normally would be. The top two ways kids get harmed on Halloween is by costume injuries to the face from props and getting hit by a vehicle. Last Halloween my "special" friend witnessed in horror two little girls ages 11 and five get hit by a car while trick or treating. They both were sisters. Their mother was with them but the girls walked up ahead of her. Two drivers stopped and signaled to them that is was okay to cross the street. There was oncoming traffic on the opposite side of the street and that third driver couldn't see the two little girls from their own truck. My friend described to me that when they got hit they gruesomely skidded down the street like rag dolls. The five year old girl's body flew right towards his vehicle! The safety of children is not a game or laughing matter. The mother had minor injuries, the 11 year old girl had serious injuries and the five year old was in grave condition. The story was on the local news and we tried to check if they were getting any better or still living. Nothing else about them was released, til this day we still don't know their status. The driver who hit them was cooperating with police and alcohol was not a factor in the accident.

Here's a safety guide:
  • Children's costumes and shoes should have reflectors on them. You can use light sticks, reflector strips, and a flash light. This will assure that they are seen by drivers and that you can keep an eye on them as well if they get ahead of you while trick or treating.
  • Only follow the street signs, traffic officer and traffic lights.
  • Hold hands with younger children while walking, instead of letting them get too far ahead of you. 
  • Costumes should be flame retardant material. If they are home made, make sure and use either a fire retardant spray or fabric that has been treated with fire retardant.
  • If your child is wearing a mask, make sure that the eye holes are big enough to see not only in front but peripherally as well. You may have to cut them open further yourself.
  • If you have a toddler go trick or treating earlier on Halloween, instead of in the dark of night when it's going to be larger crowds of people.
  •  Pay extra attention, particularly to crosswalks, intersections and the side of the road. Kids tend to walk along the curbs, cutting across the street to get to other homes. Keep scanning all around you as you drive, whether as thru traffic or along with your kids as they trick-or-treat.

It's also a night that child predators are looking for victims. October is usually when I start my routine checks of the registered sex offenders list. There are 11 offenders all within a mile of my residence. There's even more outside of the one mile radius. One sex offender in particular lives blocks away from me! Which is like WHOA! There are six schools in close distance of each other from my home, so it's like, "How does that work out?" I'll tell you right now, I have no problems doing what the parents did to Freddy Krueger. You'll never see pictures of my daughter on the potty, in the bathtub, in a bikini, or anything else I find to be inappropriate on this blog.
  • Every parent should know by now to let your child know that they should never get into the car of a stranger or go into a strangers home at any time.
  • Get a whistle for your child in the case of an attacker and tell them to scream and run as fast as they can if a stranger approaches them, especially, asking for help.
  • If you have a teen get them some pepper spray.
  • If you're doing some adult partying get a taser or stun gun, in Missouri they aren't illegal to civilians
  • Cell phones are also useful.
Everyone stay alert and be aware of potential dangers. Please have a happy Halloween!

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