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Daily Q&A: What tips can you offer for trick-or-treaters?

What tips can you offer for trick-or-treaters? Are there ways to guard against knocking on the door of a sexual predator?

Yes, there are tools in Florida to help avoid sexual offenders and predators. Nothing is more important than protecting our children. Several law enforcement and businesses offer safety tips every year. Here are some basic and high-tech safety tips:

The state Attorney General's Office recommends:

• Parents should map their trick-or-treat routes with the children in advance. Use the following link to check for sexual predators/offenders along your planned route: http://offender.fdle.state.fl.us/offender/Search.jsp.

•Parents should accompany their children from door to door, or should encourage older children to travel in large groups of five or more.

• Parents should keep their children in well lit areas and on sidewalks, especially if the children's costumes are dark or hard to see.

• Parents should establish checkpoints with older children and predetermined times for those children to call and confirm they are safe.

• Parents should check their children's candy before allowing them to consume any.

For the tech-savvy, here are some additional tips from AT&T:

• Secure a line of communication: Pre-program contact information of parents, neighbors and emergency services into your and your child's speed dial, and be sure you to know how to access these numbers with ease.

• Mobile navigation tools can assist parents and kids in creating routes, and goblins on the go can reference maps throughout the evening.

• Set up periodic alarms with Halloween-themed tones as a reminder for trick-or-treaters to text or call home between candy collecting stops.

• Report suspicious behavior to the proper authorities and share with neighbors, whose numbers should be on hand and in reach.

Question for the Consumer's Edge? Send it to ipenn@sptimes.com or twitter.com/consumers_edge. Questions are answered only in this daily feature.

Daily Q&A: What tips can you offer for trick-or-treaters? 10/30/09 [Last modified: Saturday, October 31, 2009 6:03pm]
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