Kris Grimes
Kris Grimes
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October 26, 2015 12:34 pm

Cobb County Police is giving this sound advice for kids while trick-or-treating and how to protect them.

It is officially Fall and Halloween is just around the corner. With that in mind, I would like to remind everyone of some basic safety practices to follow to help keep our kids safe as they go house to house in search of their favorite treats. 

Of utmost importance is visibility and there are several inexpensive ways to help make sure your child can be seen. Glow bands that can be worn as both bracelets and necklaces are a fun way to brighten up a child’s costume. Flashlights, light-up shoes, and just plain ole reflective tape around the sleeves and on the back of the costume will also do the trick. 

If your children are young, you will naturally accompany them, but even then with all of the excitement children can be unpredictable. Monitor them closely so they don’t dash across streets and into the paths of vehicles. Encourage them to stay together, use sidewalks or walk on the side of the road facing traffic. Out of courtesy and to avoid falls, use driveways instead of cutting through yards. Lastly, since not everyone wishes to participate at Halloween, respect the wishes of those who have their lights turned off and don’t ring the doorbell. 

For the older kids who might be old enough to trick or treat without an adult, discuss what streets they will be visiting and set a specific time for them to be home. Make sure they keep a cell phone on them and remind them to never enter anyone’s home or vehicle. They should only visit well lit houses that are handing out candy near the front of the house, and should never go around to the rear of someone’s home for any reason. Encourage your kids to trust their instincts and if a situation doesn’t feel right, don’t go near it. 

Remind all of your kids to hold off eating the candy until a grown-up has had the opportunity to inspect it. Any candy that appears to have been unwrapped should be discarded. 

Lastly, teenagers tend to commit acts they think of as “pranks” throughout the year but Halloween seems to provide a special forum for devious behavior. Talk to your teens and remind them that many “pranks” are actually crimes and can have long term and severe consequences. 

The more common acts, toilet papering yards and throwing eggs at neighbors’ homes are considered Criminal Trespass, a misdemeanor offense. More serious acts such as throwing eggs or rocks at moving vehicles or setting fire to objects in someone’s yard are felony offenses and can have lifelong consequences for a teen’s college and job prospects. If a teenager 17 years and older commits these crimes, they will often be arrested and taken to adult jail where they will have to post bond. 

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