Be safe this Halloween

“He was at least six feet tall. A baby bonnet hugged his bushy blonde hair and he weighed in at, must have been around 180 pounds."

“He was at least six feet tall. A baby bonnet hugged his bushy blonde hair and he weighed in at, must have been around 180 pounds. He was naked except for a huge diaper and running shoes … and the bonnet. In his right hand was a baby bottle half full of amber liquid.

“I had responded to the doorbell ringing and expected, upon its opening, that I would be greeted by young goblins and Star Wars characters. I never expected to see a senior from high school holding a goody bag saying, ‘Goo, goo, twik ow tweet.’”

Although this gag was quite funny according to the Rural Crime Watch (RCW) member’s memory, the presence of teens on the trick or treat circuit can be somewhat disturbing to youngsters, particularly those unaccompanied by an adult and the teens presence can often lead to property crimes and personal assaults by those taking advantage of the event. Halloween shouldn’t be an anxiety creator or an opportunity to break the law. In itself, trick-or-treating is an intricate endeavor requiring advanced “kid degrees” in logistics, GPS co-ordination and advanced goody bag acquisition … the larger the better. Parents need to execute their own advanced tactics to keep their children safe while making the rounds. Rural Crime Watch (RCW) encourages adults to monitor their offsprings’ activities carefully, making sure the little ones have safe costumes; warm, bright, fire resistant. Insist children explore the candy field in groups, the older ones keeping the youngsters in tow. A flashlight or head lamp with a solid distance beam is a necessity; particularly in our urban/rural communities where driveways are often considerable distances apart, requiring children to walk on the road. Parents might consider carrying additional bags to switch as their charge’s acquisitions gain weight.

Homeowners should remember that trick-or-treaters will be looking for front lights to welcoming them to your door. If you aren’t participating, shut your lights off and make the front of your home as dark as possible to avoid any misunderstanding.

This may be a no-brainer but it is worth mentioning regardless: children should not go inside homes or cars even if they know the person well. Precaution is always the best avenue on this night of surprises and spookiness.

Jonathan McCormick and Denny Fahrentholz are columnists from Rural Crime Watch.