It’s Crime Prevention Month and the National Crime Prevention Council offers fantastic suggestions and tips on their website for individuals and communities to increase safety and security.
However, my personal favorite are the tips they posted for combining crime prevention and Halloween celebrations. They also have lots of kid-friendly handouts, games, and quizzes to get everyone involved and ready for a safer, happier Halloween. Here are just a few of the recommendations they’ve posted:
Keep trick-or-treaters, your family, and your home safe:
* Clear your yard and sidewalk of any obstacles or decorations that may be hard to see in the dark, lest someone go bump in the night.
* Keep your house well lighted, both inside and out; you wouldn’t want to miss any particularly good costumes, would you?
* Ask your Neighborhood Watch or local citizens group to haunt (patrol) your community.
* Report any suspicious or criminal activity to your police or sheriff’s department.
* Try makeup instead of masks; it’s more comfortable and doesn’t obstruct vision the way masks can.
* Check to ensure that costumes are flame-retardant so that young ones are safe around jack-o-lanterns, candles, and other flames.
* Keep costumes short to ensure that the only trip taken is the one around the neighborhood.
* Look for brightly colored costumes, attach reflector strips to costumes and bags, and remind trick-or-treaters to carry glow sticks and flashlights.
* If a costume involves any sort of fake weapon, make sure that it is made of a flexible material such as cardboard or foam. Or, avoid the whole problem of weapons by challenging your child to design a costume that is scary without one.