Happy Halloween! What a wonderful time of year for our littles – fall festivals, pumpkin patches, trick-or-treating, and plenty of cooler weather activities to bring our children out and about! Unfortunately, when situations exist to draw children, they also draw predators. Does that mean we avoid festivals, parties, and trick-or-treat? No, of course not! What it does mean is that we need to recognize the importance of keeping our children safe no matter the circumstance.
Halloween is a wonderful time of year, and by knowing the facts and being vigilant, we can keep the experiences and memories safe, happy, and healthy:
- First and most importantly, make sure to accompany your children for trick-or-treating.
- Be aware that though we have over 600,000 registered sex offenders in the United States, this list is far from all-inclusive.
- Minimize opportunity for predators. Don’t allow children to be isolated, or in one on one situations with adults or older, more powerful children.
- Be an example. Set a precedent for child safety by making sure all interactions with children in your care are observable and interruptable.
- Talk to your children about boundaries and knowing that they can say “NO” to an adult when they feel uncomfortable.
- Encourage your children to speak out and tell you if someone makes them feel uncomfortable in any way.
Because children with the language and the permission to talk about abuse are the safest children, talking about abuse and allowing our children to do the same is the first step to prevention. Peace.
Editor, Ask Lala
Laura Fogarty writes “Ask Lala” for the Stop Abuse Campaign. She is a mother, an advocate and the author of two children’s abuse prevention books: I’M THE BOSS OF ME! and WE ARE JUST ALIKE!