Friday, October 8, 2010

Halloween and Politics

Halloween is quickly approaching and being scared gets the adrenalin flowing. Big money is spent on costumes, haunted houses, horror movies and practical jokes. Local authorities are out in force to make a political statement and garner votes. Our children are used as an excuse to say “you need me”.

Actually their offer only applies to those that have already been caught. They have no idea which children and parents belong together so their message of reassurance is dangerous. There is no evidence that there is a spike in sexual needs or that people tend to go rogue on this one day of the year. Any stranger that gets near my child will be eyeball to eyeball with me. That includes strangers with badges.

Over the years we have learned that a parent is the key when it comes to stranger danger and that applies every day of the year. We all know the horrible story of Megan Kanka and how this 7 year-old roamed the neighborhood and dropped in to visit neighbors. There should have been household rule that this behavior is appropriate only when an adult family member is available to roam with her. Megan was such an easy target and she could have been prevented from being a target at all.

Adam Walsh was left alone in the toy department. Reve Walsh claims she was in the lamp department for 7 minutes. It would have been wise for her to have spent 7 minutes with Adam in the toy department and then taken him with her to spend 7 minutes in the lamp department. Seven short minutes of leaving a 6 year old unprotected made Adam a target and cost him his life.

We are aware that bad things can and do happen. These two high-profile cases show gaps in diligence and common sense. We cannot police the entire world and few children encounter stranger-danger. Most of us would never let our young ones roam at will or leave them alone in public areas. Most of us have a fear of losing our children in crowded areas so we keep a closer watch in those situations.

Parental instinct guides us to protect our young. Ignoring those instincts can be deadly and everybody in the world can be blamed for a lapse in judgment. The truth is that these are examples of such lapses and these losses could have been prevented.
This year alone 48 children have died from being left in hot automobiles. In spite of all of the warnings this is an all time high. The time of rushing too many directions and being distracted is costing the lives of our children.

Halloween is approaching and it is should be a time of light-hearted fun with parents seeing that their small children have a safe and enjoyable few hours of creating memories. Authorities can do nothing but rain on our parade by turning this into a day of gloom and doom. No, we don’t need political interference. Votes are earned on performance throughout the term so there is plenty of dazzle time. One day a year to come together under the pretense of caring for our children is a ploy that voters are seeing through. Votes are not likely to be won on Halloween procedure but they sure can be lost.

Have a safe and fun Halloween!

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