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BellaOnline's Missing and Exploited Children Editor

Halloween Safety for Children

The laws vary for sex offenders across the nation regarding what the sex offender is or is not allowed to do on Halloween. Since Halloween is essentially geared towards children and most sex offenders are not allowed to participate or frequent places where children gather such as at school or churches, it is obvious that sex offenders do not belong participating in these types of activities.

A sex offender needs to know what is expected of them on Halloween according to the law where he or she resides. Sex offenders are usually required to keep their front porch light off and front door closed and not to answer the door or hand out candy even if children come to the sex offenderís home. Many communities have local law enforcement and probation or parole officers who go around making unannounced visits to sex offenderís homes on Halloween to verify the offender is not engaging in Halloween activities such as passing out candy to children.

Parents should check local and national sex offender registries to know which houses to avoid in their neighborhood. Parents should also try to encourage safe Halloween activities in their community such as trick or treating at local malls, and schools. Do not allow children to trick or treat without an adult. Be sure that children are aware of which houses they may approach and why certain houses are off limits if they are allowed to go trick or treating alone or with friends.

In some communities sex offenders are required to go to a predetermined public place and check in with their parole or probation officers for a certain length of time or post notices on their front door saying no trick or treating because a sex offender lives here. Regardless of what the local and national laws are regarding sex offenders on Halloween it is imperative that parents talk to children about personal safety and not just on Halloween.

Teach children how to be safe when walking to and from school and when playing outside or at a friendís home. This week in Florida 7 year old girl Somer Thompson disappeared walking home from school when she ran ahead of her siblings and friends. Somerís body was recovered from a landfill in Georgia. Her murderer has not been identified. Where Somer Thompson lived and died there are 150 registered sex offenders.

Then in Saint Martinís Missouri another little girl disappeared. This time it was a 9 year old girl. Elizabeth Olten left a friendís house at 6:15 pm and never made it the ľ mile to her home, which had only four houses in between. The 9 year old was missing for 2 days before a local 15 year old juvenile led the authorities to her body. Elizabeth Olten was buried deep in the woods in the area authorities had been searching. The 15 year old juvenile is currently in custody.

What happened to these little girls is incredibly sad. Children are by nature trusting and easily manipulated by adults, especially a charming sex offender. Parents need to evaluate who has access to their child and realize the likely hood that someone the child knows directly or indirectly is more likely to hurt them than a total stranger. Most sex offenders earn the trust of the parent or parents before gaining access to a child. Teach children what houses in the neighborhood are inhabited by sex offenders and to avoid those areas at all times. Start today by talking again to your children.

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Content copyright © 2013 by Erika Lyn Smith. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Erika Lyn Smith. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Erika Lyn Smith for details.

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