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HALLOWEEN SAFETY

Happy Halloween!
 

 

Just in time for Halloween, check out this haunted rocker! We swear we did nothing to make the rocker do these things…it just happened!

 

To have a safe and happy Halloween, please follow these safety tips:

 

  • Being hit by a car is the biggest threat to children during trick or treat. Halloween has roughly four times more child pedestrian deaths than most other days of the year. Contributing factors, some of which you can control (and others you cannot), form a toxic mix for pedestrian children:

    • Dark costumes that are hard to see.

    • Masks that restrict a child’s field of vision.

    • Trick or treating after dark.

    • Children darting into the road.

    • Children hyped on candy and in sensory overload.

    • Drivers hurrying home from work.

    • Drivers on drugs or alcohol.

  • During trick or treat:

    • Remind your child over and over not to dart into the street.

    • Walking near parked cars (particularly on the street) is very dangerous for two reasons:

      • Someone could grab the child and drive off.

      • The parked car shields the child from the view of on coming motorists, so if the child darts out into the street, a driver might not have time to stop.

    • Do not enter someone’s home to get a treat.

    • Trick or treating supervision.

      • You take your child trick or treating: safest.

      • A non-parent takes your child trick or treating as part of a group of children: relatively safe, assuming the non-parent is capable of keeping track of and supervising the children.

      • A non-parent wants to take your child trick or treating “just us two”: NOT SAFE. Always be wary of a non-parent who wants "alone time" with your child. Sadly, most perpetrators are known to and trusted by the child and his or her parents.

    • Instruct your child that if someone grabs them it is not a Halloween joke and they need to fight to break free, scream to attract attention, and run away.

    • Attach some kind of identifiers to your child, like an ID bracelet and unique light so you can spot them in the throng of children and motorists can see them if they dart into the street.

    • If you get candy that is unwrapped, THROW IT AWAY.

  • EVERYONE knows this last tip, yet how many college or high school kids will go to a party and drink a punch of unknown origin or content?

    • Drugs and alcohol are the biggest threats to older children on Halloween, either from being assaulted while passed out or disoriented, getting in an accident, or overdosing.

    • Think about it: you won’t eat that open piece of candy you got trick or treating from the retired accountant who has lived next door for 30 years with his wife and (now grown) kids, but you will take any open drink offered to you by someone you barely (or don’t) know at a co-ed party? Which situation is truly more dangerous?

      • The maker of the punch is either an idiot amateur mixologist or someone trying to incapacitate you. Neither one is good. These punches are typically mixed in a bathtub, so you get not only a delicious punch of unknown origin and alcohol content, but also a sample of everything that comes off a person when they shower, such as dead skin, hair, and fecal matter. Yum! Another recipe available on line calls for mixing the punch in a garbage can and advises “Cleaning trash can prior is optional”. Anyone at the party can tamper with an open bowl (or bathtub or garbage can) of punch. Drugs like roofies (Rohypnol) are readily available and cause sudden severe intoxication and amnesia. One college punch taken to a lab was found to contain Drano, a chemical product used to unclog drains.

  • Co-ed parties are ALWAYS terrible places to experiment with drugs or alcohol, even on Halloween.

  • Morgues and emergency rooms are filled with teens whose drug and alcohol education consisted solely of “just say no”, so take this opportunity to start a real conversation with your teenager about alcohol and drugs, and make this the first of many such conversations (it will have a greater impact).  A few tips:

  • Show them the information above. Then ask your teen to help you understand why some of their peers drink or do drugs.  It is critical that you learn from your teen about this, so listen very carefully to the response.

    • Explain:

      • Alcohol equivalencies, e.g., that typically one 12 oz. beer (5% ABV) = 5 oz. of wine (12% ABV) = 1 oz 100 proof liquor (50% ABV).

      • An ounce is not that much liquid — two soup spoons hold about an ounce.

      • It is hard to tell when you are too drunk to drive and that alcohol will impair your ability to know so drinking and driving (or getting into a car with a driver who has been drinking) is a terrible idea that generally ends badly.

      • Time is the only way to “sober up” — eating food, drinking caffeine, etc. will not “sober you up”.

      • Using any means of rapid consumption (guzzling, shots, etc.) makes it very hard to know how drunk you are until it is too late.

      • Products with higher than normal alcohol content (malt liquor, fortified wines, high proof liquor) are particularly dangerous because even experienced drinkers get fooled into thinking they’ve consumed less alcohol than they really have, e.g., thinking you’ve had the alcohol equivalent of one beer when in fact you’ve had the alcohol equivalent of 2 beers.

    • Come up with a plan for what your teen should do if their ride home has been drinking (including a parent that might be taking them home from a friend’s house).

Boys and girls: Halloween is way more fun without drugs and underage drinking.

  • If your family has a history of addiction or mental illness, share that fact with your teen now, including any negative consequences that resulted. You can also point your teen to these videos on suicide prevention and maintaining good mental health. SEE MORE

  • Check out this blog post from our good friends at END RAPE ON CAMPUS, documenting how some really bad people can trick someone — even a college student — into drinking what amounts to poison! READ MORE

    • And remember, consent is affirmative, conscious, enthusiastic, communicative, continuous, and not under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If you see someone taking advantage of another person by pushing drugs or alcohol, manipulating someone's food or drink, or attempting to engage in sexual behavior with someone under the influence, speak up. Sexual assault is NEVER the fault of the victim no matter what costume they were wearing or what they consumed prior.

  • This is a very bad year to wear a clown costume unless you enjoy being chased and beaten by vigilantes. If you don’t understand why, read the article at: READ MORE

  • See more general safety tips at: READ MORE

 

October is a time of great joy and anticipation, but also a time to remember: This month seven years ago, a coward took 20-year-old Morgan Harrington’s life. We never want to see that happen to anyone ever again. To learn how to Help Save The Next Girl, visit: READ MORE

 

Please have a safe and happy Halloween!