Family Safety Tips for Halloween
Renowned safety authority, Dave Young, offers his top ten family safety tips for Halloween 2014! Dave Young is the president of Arma Training, US Fighting Systems and Your Family Defense. He has more than 30 years of combined civilian/military law enforcement training and experience. He is recognized as one of the nation’s leading tactical trainers for personal survival and safety. Dave has been featured by People magazine, Fox and Friends and CNN. He also hosted National Geographic’s Crash Test Human for three years. City Youth Martial Arts instructors have been training with Mr. Young for many years.
Halloween is a time for fun but for some it’s unfortunately an opportunity to take advantage of others! It is a time where home invasions, assaults and robberies occur in the open and innocent children go missing. Please be prepared!
1. Be ALERT: Be ALERT of what you see. A toy gun may be REAL. Guns, swords, knives and other weapons could hurt you. Do you have a family action plan?
2. If your gut tells you to leave … go! Tune in and listen to that inner voice when it tells you something isn’t right or safe, and that you should leave now. Watch for vehicles that maybe be slowly approaching you and your child, and pay attention while you walk through your neighborhood. Do not walk around with blinders on or listening to your iPod.
3. Be prepared: Don’t dash off without making sure your cell phone is charged and all of the important emergency numbers are loaded in your phone. People forget their numbers under life-threatening situations. Walk your trick or treat route to get an estimated time or identify possible issues you may experience. Have a planned response.
4. Make sure your flashlight has new batteries: Test beforehand to make sure you are happy with the brightness (something at least 80 Lumina in candela ratings), with a lanyard so you can attach it on your wrist or belt loop (not your neck). Make sure it is readily accessible. Don’t dig through a purse or backpack.
5. Monitor your surroundings: Predators hide within other groups of people, and walk within your OWN groups. Make sure you know everyone in the group. Take a picture of your children on your cell phone and email it to yourself in case you need to give the police a picture of how they were dressed.
6. When accompanying your child, do not dress in costume: This makes it hard for your own children to identify you and/or find you! If you do dress up, have something distinctive about your costume so your children will know you immediately. Watch for traffic! Use the crosswalks together.
7. Make YOUR children’s costume stand out: Children often wear the same thing so put an identifier on their person or costume. For example, give your princess a glow band on her right ankle and left wrist and tell her not to take it off.
8. Do not accept refreshments or beverages closed or open, UNLESS YOU KNOW THEM. There was a situation in which a parent allowed their 10 year old to accept and taste a drink. Their boy needed to immediately use the bathroom. The child went into the house of someone they DIDN’T know which was exactly what the predator wanted.
9. Go through your candy together when you get home. Check original packaging, look for clear tape on the candy, folded corners, etc. If you find anything wrong with the candy you were given, immediately stop searching the candy and call the police. Or better yet, avoid this step all together by throwing all the candy away — that’s right, all of it — and have some of your child’s favorite candy or treats on hand at home instead.
10. Don’t be home alone when you are answering the door for Trick or Treat. Have a friend stay over. Light up the front and back yards. This is the one time of year an intruder can walk right up to your front door. There is a reason criminals wear a MASK!