It’s that time of year again, folks! Kids love the magic of Halloween…trick-or-treating, classroom parties, and trips to the neighborhood haunted house. House hopping for candy is always fun but can also be dangerous. Parents need to plan ahead to ensure no “tricks” are played on their kids. With approximately 30,000 registered sex offenders in Florida, police departments encourage parents to arm themselves with knowledge before all of the fun festivities begin.
It is against Florida law for sex offenders and predators on supervised probation to hand out candy or anything else to children on Halloween. So how do you determine the possibility of sexual predators in your community? The Florida Department of Law Enforcement empowers parents with a user-friendly sex offender database so they can see a list of all registered sex offenders living within a five-mile radius of their homes. There is also an app that allows families to track when sex offenders move into a neighborhood. Search “FDLE” in the Apple or Google Play store to download.
The importance of being safe while also having fun cannot be stressed enough. Parents should only trust data provided by local law enforcement. With OffenderWatch, the nation’s leader in sex offender registry management, parents are provided with tips on reading and understanding sex offender registries. Mike Cormaci, president and co-founder of OffenderWatch, said, “We’ve partnered with law enforcement across the country for more than 20 years, helping to improve the sex offender registry and making it easier for both law enforcement and the public to use.”
If registered sex offenders do live in your neighborhood, point out their house to your kids. Explain to them that the offender has a criminal record. Tell them to be sure and let you know if the sex offender tries to talk to them or lure them inside.
Halloween Safety Tips
Before your kids go out on the prowl, here are some other helpful Halloween safety tips to ensure fun for all.
- Kids 12 and under should be accompanied by an adult
- Review an agreed-upon route and curfew for older kids
- Stay in groups
- Teach kids never to enter a stranger’s home or car
- Review with kids how to call 9-1-1
- Stay on sidewalks in neighborhoods you know
- Use reflective tape or stickers on costumes
- Use flashlights and glow sticks for visibility
- Stay in well-lit areas and avoid dark houses
- Examine all treats before eating, and throw away candy with open wrappers
Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse. If you or a loved one was sexually abused, raped, or sexually molested, please contact our law firm at 888-283-9922 or send an e-mail to sexual abuse lawyer Adam Horowitz at [email protected] for a free consultation.