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Kids learn ‘Stranger Dangers’ from West County students and staff

As a safety measure for trick or treating several preschool aged children learned how to avoid strangers from family and consumer sciences (FACS) students Tuesday at West County High School. According to teachers and students at the event, kids are never too young to learn how to avoid strangers.

“You never know at what age a child might be abducted,” said FACS instructor Tiffany Miller. “We teach kids to be friendly with people and to be welcoming, but they also have to be able to identify what a stranger looks like.”

The children learned how to avoid strangers by viewing the skit performed by the students as they played the parts of strangers, friendly people and law enforcement officers. The kids were also issued identification badges with personal information and physical characteristics that could be presented to public safety officials in an emergency.

“We want to make sure they don’t just roam around, and that they know bad things can happen to them if they don’t pay attention to what’s going on,” said FACS student Allison Tongay.

With the upcoming trick or treating event, it is important for parents to keep their kids safe. The following is a list of Halloween Safety Tips from the National Crime Prevention Council.

Remember the following tips.

*Clear your yard and sidewalk of any obstacles or decorations that may be hard to see in the dark, lest someone go bump in the night.

*Keep your house well lighted on both the inside and outside.

*Ask your Neighborhood Watch or local citizens’ group to patrol your community.

*Report any suspicious or criminal activities to your police or sheriff’s department.

Follow these tips to make sure even the scariest costumes are safe.

*Try makeup instead of masks; it does not obstruct vision the way masks can.

*Keep costumes short to ensure that the only trip taken is the one around the neighborhood.

*Look for brightly colored costumes, attach reflector strips to costumes and bags, and remind trick-or-treaters to carry glow sticks and flashlights.

Make sure your trick-or-treater’s night in the neighborhood will be safe and fun.

*Older kids should trick-or-treat in groups. Kids walking around alone are not as safe as those walking in groups.

*A parent or trusted neighbor should accompany younger kids.

*Review the route for trick-or-treating beforehand and set a time for when kids should be home. Also, have a plan if your child separates accidentally from his or her friends or from you.

Remember that the treats still need scrutiny before anyone eats them.

*Remind your children not to eat any treats until they have come home. To help ensure this, feed them a meal or a substantial snack before they go out.

*Check all treats at home in a well-lighted place. Be especially wary of anything that is not factory-wrapped or that is no longer sealed.

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