Ten Things Parents Can Do to Make Halloween Safer

Oct 13, 2010, 10:17 ET from National Center for Missing & Exploited Children

"The Mentalist" Actor Tim Kang Tells Parents How They Can Build Safety into Halloween This Year

ALEXANDRIA, Va., Oct. 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Halloween is one of the most exciting times of the year for children, but sometimes the most hectic for parents.  Nearly 94 percent of children between the ages of four and twelve participate in Halloween activities each year.  Tim Kang, actor from the hit CBS show The Mentalist has partnered with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) to help educate parents about what they should be telling their children to keep them safe.  Parents need to take a moment to consider basic safety precautions that will make Halloween a safer night of fun.

  • CHOOSE bright, flame-retardant costumes or add reflective tape to costumes and candy bags so children are easily seen in the dark.  In addition, carry a glow stick or flashlight.  PLAN a trick-or-treating route in familiar neighborhoods with well-lit streets.  Avoid unfamiliar neighborhoods, streets that are isolated, or homes that are poorly lit inside or outside. 
  • NEVER send young children out alone.  They should always be accompanied by a parent or another trusted adult.  Older children should always travel in groups.
  • ALWAYS walk younger children to the door to receive treats and don't let children enter a home unless you are with them.
  • BE SURE children do not approach any vehicle, occupied or not, unless you are with them.
  • DISCUSS basic pedestrian safety rules that children should use when walking to and from houses.
  • CONSIDER organizing a home or community party as an alternative to "trick-or-treating."
  • MAKE sure children know their home phone number and address in case you get separated.  Teach children how to call 911 in an emergency.
  • TEACH children to say "NO!" or "this is not my mother/father" in a loud voice if someone tries to get them to go somewhere, accept anything other than a treat, or leave with them.  And teach them that they should make every effort to get away by kicking, screaming and resisting.
  • REMIND children to remain alert and report suspicious incidents to parents and/or law enforcement.

"Child safety is vital year round, but Halloween is an especially important time for parents and children to pay extra attention to their surroundings and not let their guard down," said actor Tim Kang a spokesperson for NCMEC.  "Parents need to exercise a few basic safety precautions to help ensure that Halloween is both fun and safe."

About the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children

The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.  Since it was established by Congress in 1984, the organization has operated the toll-free 24-hour national missing children's hotline which has handled more than 2,475,300 calls.  It has assisted law enforcement in the recovery of more than 151,300 children.  The organization's CyberTipline has handled more than 954,490 reports of child sexual exploitation and its Child Victim Identification Program has reviewed and analyzed more than 39,081,380 pornography images and videos.  The organization works in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Justice's office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.  To learn more about NCMEC, call its toll-free, 24-hour hotline at 1-800-THE-LOST or visit its web site at www.missingkids.com.

About Tim Kang

Tim Kang is a sought after and versatile actor in both television and film.  He can currently be seen on the hit CBS drama The Mentalist where his character "Kimball Cho," the straight-arrow investigator, has emerged as a fan favorite on the show. The Mentalist won a 2009 People's Choice Award for "Favorite New TV Drama," and was nominated for a 2009 Television Critics Association Award for "Outstanding New Program of the Year."   Other television credits include guest-starring roles in popular TV shows, such as The Ghost Whisperer, The Office, The Sopranos, Monk, Chappelle's Show, Law & Order: Criminal Intent and Law & Order: Trial By Jury, and reoccurring roles in NBC's Third Watch and CBS's The Unit.   Tim was also seen in the films Rambo, The Forgotten, Two Weeks Notice and most recently the lead in the independent film Mister Green.

SOURCE National Center for Missing & Exploited Children