Halloween and the Holidays
Here are some tips to keep your little villagers safe on Halloween:
- If you are driving Halloween night, be on the lookout for trick-or-treaters. Use extreme caution and drive slowly.
- Consider a Halloween party at home or attend a well-planned, local event instead of trick-or-treating. These are much safer alternatives.
- When planning to go trick-or-treating, think carefully about your route and timetable before departing.
- Try to choose streets that make a collective neighborhood effort for Halloween by lighting and decorating homes in a way that safely welcomes visitors. Do not approach homes that are unlit.
- Be sure an adult accompanies children at all times.
- Carry flashlights with fresh batteries, and never use candles or torches.
- Be certain that all trick-or-treaters can be seen easily. Costumes should be brightly colored or white, and reflective. Reflective tape can also be applied across the back and front of costumes, or you can attach glow-sticks to kids. They actually love glow sticks nearly as much as candy.
- Avoid using masks that are hard to see or breathe through. Use makeup instead.
- Do not allow children to carry sharp objects. Use props that are pliable and soft to avoid injury.
- Make sure costumes fit well and are not loose enough to be tripped over or snagged on things.
- Stay on sidewalks, if available, or walk on the side of the street that faces oncoming traffic.
- Do not allow children to eat any treats until the group has returned home and an adult has examined all of the contents of each bag.
- Throw away anything that looks spoiled, is not contained in a sealed wrapper, or looks suspicious in any way.
In order to avoid candy overdose, let children pick out enough of their favorites to fill one zip-lock sandwich bag. Then explain that the rest of the treats must be left outside for the ghosts, so they won't play mean tricks on them!
Safety During the Holidays
To be safe for the holidays, remember the Three A's of Crime Prevention:
- Be Aware of your surroundings.
- Be Alert to suspicious people and vehicles.
- Avoid dangerous situations.
Your goal is to avoid being injured. There is nothing in your purse or wallet that's worth serious injury or death!
- Is it absolutely necessary to carry a purse at all times? A wallet or credit card in a pocket would be less tempting.
- Carry only the amount of cash or credit cards that you need.
- Zip or close purse securely to avoid pickpockets. Carry purse or shoulder bag in front of you and close to your body. Do not carry spare keys in your purse.
- Keep your purse on your lap when dining or at meetings.
- Avoid carrying a lot of packages, it can make you look defenseless. Place all packages and gifts in the locked trunk of your vehicle.
- In the supermarket, do not leave your purse in the shopping cart. Remember, out of sight, out of mind, out of purse!
- Avoid displaying valuables such as jewelry or large sums of money. Also, dress so you can walk or run easily to avoid an attack.
- Throughout Florida, citizens are facing follow-home strong arm robberies. As you drive home day or night, look for potential danger before entering your driveway. Walkways, doorways, and driveways should be well lit around your home.
- Do not enter your driveway if a suspicious vehicle has followed you. Go to the nearest safe location, or an area where there are people and call the police. If you are confronted in your driveway, remain in your locked car with your windows up and blow your horn. The distance from your car to your front door is no man's land.
- If attacked outside, just give up the property and when attacked, if you are going to be knocked down, sit down.
- When using the ATM, make sure that it is not in a secluded location and is well lit. Also, use the buddy system. Go directly to your car and count the cash in your vehicle, not at the ATM.
- At home, do not display all your gifts where they can be seen from a window or doorway.
- Going on vacation for the holidays – have a friend or family member check on your home and leave emergency contact information with them.
- Beware of con games and fraud schemes, only give to charities that you have dealt with before.
- Be aware of where you are and where you are going at all times. Stay away from a potentially dangerous area or situation.
- Trust your instincts. If you suspect something is wrong, or if a situation seems dangerous, you may be right! Don't dismiss suspicious people, cars or situations. Report them immediately.
Call 911 for all emergencies and call 305-4-POLICE (305-476-5423) for all non-emergencies.