Halloween is an exciting time of year and children can hardly wait to put on their costumes and fill their bags with candy. Unfortunately that excitement can sometimes make children, and adults, forget to be careful while they’re out having fun.
State’s Attorney Glasgow wants to remind parents to be alert to the dangers that sex offenders may pose during Halloween activities and to know who lives in their neighborhood.
“Parents should know that sex offenders use holidays like Halloween to target children,” says Glasgow. The State’s Attorney urges parents to take a few minutes before their children go out trick or treating and check one of the online sex offender registries so they know if there are any offenders living in their area.
The Illinois State Police and the Will County Sheriff’s Department have websites where parents can check for registered sex offenders in any neighborhoods or where their children will be trick or treating. Glasgow added, “Parents can visit our Office website for the links, or if someone does not have access to a computer, I encourage them to call our Criminal Investigation Division at 815-727-8878 for the information. Also, computers are available at your local library.”
“Trick or treating should create only good memories for our kids,” emphasizes Glasgow. “Parents need to be vigilant to ensure this Halloween will be a safe and enjoyable experience for their children.”
State’s Attorney Glasgow also asks parents to follow these safety tips:
Check with your local police department to see what the designated hours are for trick or treating and follow them. If there are no designated hours where they live, have the kids home before dark or no later than 7:00 p.m., whichever comes first.
If parents and children must go out after dark, stay in well-lighted areas and bring a flashlight.
Older children should trick-or-treat with an adult or in a large group. Parents should map out a safe route and tell their children to stop only at familiar houses where the lights are on.
Young children should always trick-or-treat with a parent or trusted adult.
Children should wear costumes that can be seen in the dark. This will assist parents in chaperoning their children and safely alert passing motorists. Many stores sell glow-in-the-dark or reflective items that can be worn or carried while trick-or-treating. Costumes should also be flame-retardant and short enough to prevent tripping and falling. Avoid hard plastic or wood props, use foam rubber instead.
Parents should consider providing make-up instead of a mask. Masks can be hot and uncomfortable, and they can obstruct a child’s vision–a dangerous thing when kids are crossing streets and going up and down steps.
Stay within your neighborhood and only visit homes you know.
An adult should examine all treats before they are eaten. Eat only those treats that are un-opened and in their original wrappers. If you suspect that a treat has been tampered with, save it, and contact your local law enforcement agency.
Parents must warn their children that they should never enter anyone’s home or car while trick-or-treating. If someone tries to get them to come into their home or car, they should run away and immediately tell a trusted adult.
To find out the location of registered sex offenders in Will County, go to: