Halloween is a special time of the year and we want to help keep it that way.
For young children, Halloween night is one of the best of the year. Even this big kid likes to get in on the action and dress up like his favorite character.
But there are some basic precautions for children & parents to keep in mind.
First, let’s address the creepy clown craze touching every corner of nation, with reported sightings placing kids, adults, and law enforcement authorities on alert for increased clown activity.
To help me do this, I brought a friend along, with us now as a special guest, is Sergeant Scott Warren of the City of Pasco Police Department.
To calm the panic, let’s cover some facts:
- Fact: Rumors, hoaxes, and unfunny social media threats are almost entirely responsible for the recent creepy clown phenomena.
- Fact: There is no evidence of the existence of supernatural, menacing clowns. Reports to the contrary are non-sense.
- Fact: Yes, some clowns are creepy—no one disputes that—but let’s not profile all clowns and make them the target of anger or violence. If uneasy, keep your distance.
- Fact: Coulrophobia—or a fear of clowns—is a real thing. Yet, so is arachnophobia (fear of spiders) - people are scared of lots of things.
- Fact: Halloween is this month…the rise in clown sightings is not a coincidence.
- Fact: A lot of people will be dressed like clowns—but also superheroes, cartoon characters, and even Chewbacca this is Halloween.
And since you’re going to see a bunch of people in costumes on October 31st, remember, that’s okay—dressing up for Halloween is not illegal, in fact, its encouraged.
However, menacing behaviors, threats, or acts of harassment may be illegal and anyone can report suspicious activity; be responsible and use your best judgment there.
Thank you Sergeant Warren. Now, I’d like to take this opportunity to cover some basic tips for a safe Halloween.
- As a rule parents & responsible adults should accompany most children under the age of 12. Even, if they aren’t dressed up in a Disney character costume.
- If kids are mature enough to go without supervision, they should keep a phone handy, stick to familiar areas that are well lit, and stay in groups.
- Kids should not eat any treats until they return home.
- And never enter a stranger's home under any circumstances.
It’s dark outside, so remember to walk safely
- Cross the street at corners, use traffic signals and crosswalks, and try to make eye contact with drivers before crossing, but not Vampires, NEVER make eye contact with vampires.
- Look both ways before crossing and maintain awareness; that means putting electronic devices down and keeping your head up.
- Always walk on sidewalks or paths. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible and avoid any non-sporting Hockey mask wearing types.
- Watch for cars that are turning, backing up, and remember to never dart out into the street between parked cars; werewolf attacks are triggered by sudden movement.
Keep Halloween fun by dressing up smart for safety
- Decorate costumes with reflective tape or stickers to easily separate humans from ghouls and, if possible, choose light colors.
- Choose face paint and makeup whenever possible instead of masks, which may obstruct vision, making it harder to spot both cars and Batman.
- Carry glow sticks or flashlights to help see and be seen by drivers and creatures of the night, which hate flashlights.
- When selecting a costume, make sure it is the right size to prevent trips and falls - because that’s what the zombies are banking on.
- Dress warm - you might even try wrapping yourself up like a mummy - because it’s getting chilly in many parts of the nation.
And if you’re driving, pay extra attention to pedestrian traffic
- Slow down and be especially alert in neighborhoods; kids may momentarily wander and move unpredictably, sorta like Frankenstein.
- Eliminate any distractions inside your car so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings.
- Drive slowly, anticipate heavy foot traffic and turn your headlights on earlier in the day to spot children & ghosts that need busting from greater distances.
- Take extra time at intersections, on medians and on curbs and enter and exit driveways and alleys slower than usual; skeletons are fragile.
- Popular trick-or-treating hours are 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.—the witching hours—so be particularly alert.
Halloween is a special time of the year and we want to help keep it that way. Share these Halloween safety tips with your family.
Until next time, stay positive and stay safe out there.