October is finally upon us! Crisp fall weather, leaves changing, pumpkins, and festivals galore. This is the month my calendar is full of hay rides, corn maizes, and lot's of candy for the kid's (and myself). For many parent's we celebrate this season by allowing our children to take candy from strangers which we discourage the other 11 months of the year. This is the time to plan for safety of our most precious gifts, our little's.
Many fall activities will take you to crowded events often at night. Some important things to prepare to keep your children safe:
Make sure you begin teaching your child at the earliest age possible to know the full name of parents and memorize at least one important phone number. Statistically children do not know a parent or guardian's full name when asked. This can be a life saver if they get lost at a large venue. For the youngest ages, try creating cue cards together as a craft activity with the important phone numbers and names to memorize. Getting them involved in creating the cards also assist in setting the information to memory while making it a fun family project.
For the tiniest princess, pirates, and goblin's, memorizing may be a little tougher. Go to the junk drawer every parent has hidden and pull out that sharpie. Before trick or treating or going to a large gathering, write the important emergency number on the under side of your child's arm. Cover over the number with liquid bandaid found at most drug stores. This will keep the information safe and accessible and make it waterproof.
Planning to hit the candy treasure trove on Halloween? Before planning your route, check the area you plan to visit for recent crime activities with your local Sheriff's department or police department website. This is also the perfect time to update yourself on predators listed in your area. Every state now has the information readily available on the internet. People relocate and unfortunately so do the undesirable. Make it a habit to check the predator listings quarterly. Set your phone calendar to alert you for your quarterly update.
Be alert, be aware, and inspect, inspect, inspect! Take advantage of local trunk or treats with reputable organizations. If you decide to venture into unknown neighborhoods, have a treasure trove of safe candy from friends and family at the home to trade out. The fun in the candy collecting can still be enjoyed but the fun in eating the treats can now be done with peace of mind!
Go grab your pumpkin's, hot chocolate, and treat bags! Create those lasting memories with your little one's knowing they are safe. Don't forget to treat yourself to a chocolate or two!