If your kids are at the age when they can go trick-or-treating on their own with friends, you’ve most likely lectured them on safety. From staying in the neighborhood to avoiding suspicious people, your kids know the rules. The following apps can also help keep your trick-or-treaters safe on Halloween.
Track Their Movements
Give your tweens a chance on Halloween to travel as a group around your neighborhood in search of edible loot. Install the Life360 app on their phones, and always know their whereabouts. Your kids can check-in when they reach pre-determined locations, or you can search for their location online.
Life360 is free for iPhone and Android users. The basic plan includes the app, two location places, check-in options, and an offender locator. Pay $5 a month or $50 a year for the premium version that includes the basic plan, 24/7 assistance and unlimited places. It locks the device so that only people on a pre-approved list get to see your children’s locations as you give them freedom to trick-or-treat with friends.
Apply a SafetyTat
You may be inclined to write your phone number on your kid’s arm in case they get lost. However, permanent Sharpie markers contain chemicals like permachrome, xylene and toluene. They aren’t recommended for use on skin. Temporary SafetyTats are a safer alternative. They are acrylic and non-latex based. SafetyTats include a waterproof marker that’s non-toxic and won’t smear or wash off in water or sweat.
Choose from pre-printed labels with one to two lines of personalized information, or write your own personalization. The pre-printed tattoos last two weeks while the ones you write on are good for one to three days. Store SafetyTat tattoos for up to one year. Halloween SafetyTats cost $14.99 for a pack of 12, and the TatBuilder set starts at $19.99 for a pack of 24. Send your toddler, youngster or tween out for a night of Halloween fun in stylish and protective SafetyTat temporary tattoos.
Avoid Sexual Predators
On December 11, 2012, missingkids.com reported that 736,717 sexual offenders lived in the U.S. Avoid the chance that your kid encounters a sex offender by searching for local sex offenders at the National Sex Offender Public Website. The database is maintained by the Department of Justice and is easy to use. Under the Search tab, select your state, zip code or address range. Click on each listed name to see a perpetrator’s photo, last known address and charges. Using this data, you can designate a safe route and protect your children from real life predators.
To further protect your kids, make sure they know to never reveal any personal information. Predators may not only be a threat to your children physically, they can be a threat to your children’s identity as well. Children are vulnerable to identity theft because of their blank financial histories and credit. Provide them with a safe route and keep their information protected during this social holiday.
Wear Safe Costumes
Data from the National Retail Federation reveals that Americans spent an average of $28.65 on each Halloween costume purchased in 2012. No matter how much your children’s costumes cost, the first priority must be safety. Follow several guidelines as you ensure your kids can see, are seen and don’t trip as they gather Halloween treats.
-Ensure the fabric is flame retardant.
-Add reflectors to shoes, jackets or capes and baskets.
-Hem the costume’s length and make sure your kids can walk on any surface without tripping or falling.
-Cut the mask’s eye holes so your kiddos can see clearly in front and to the sides.
-Conceal visible facial skin with matching makeup or face paint.
About the Author
Kathleen is a former teacher and mom of three who runs a small candle company out of her home.