Recently Emily McCarthy was featured on River City LIVE and shared some tips on for packing your rucksack for Trick-or-Treating with important items like hydration and a First Aid kit. Watch the segment here and read more safety tips below from a former CIA agent.
Make a plan
- Have a method of immobilizing younger children who are not yet rational thinkers. Foolproof ways to do this are strapping them to a parent’s body or in a stroller or wagon. Only let them out if there are no hazards or traffic nearby and they’re accompanied by an adult.
- If trick-or-treating in a large neighborhood, encourage your kids to make a plan and only cover certain sections, versus the entire community.
- Write your phone number on their forearm. People don’t memorize many phone numbers these days and yet everyone has a phone. If you and your child become separated, tell them to look for a mother with children and have her call the number written on their arm.
- Take a photo beforehand just in case you are separated from your child or they’re older and miss curfew.
- Whether you’re trick-or-treating with little ones, or older kids, you can never be too prepared. Carry a backpack (we recommend GORUCK’s GR1) and weigh it down with some water, snacks, a small First Aid kit, and possibly an adult beverage to keep you motivated.
- If driving to your trick-or-treat destination, choose a safe rally point and link up time if/when Murphy strikes and your phone stops working.
- Make it fun and productive – bring a ruck with a weight plate (or cold ones) and you get a workout in too!
Get street smart
- Practice makes perfect. Are your kids first timers? If they haven’t had much practice moving in a potentially large group of people during the day or night, educate them on the rules of the road.
- In the excitement of the evening, younger children may try to run ahead from house to house. Pair them up with a buddy, preferably someone a little older, and tell them to stick together.
- See and be seen by wearing reflective tape or adding it to your child’s costume.
- Tell your child to only go to homes with outside lights on.
- Halloween is one of my favorite times of the year. I love the simplicity and joy that children get from dressing up and being outside with their friends and family. Have a great and safe Halloween this year and always.
– Emily McCarthy, Former Intel Office and Current Mom of 3