Across the United States and Canada local law enforcement, federal agencies in both countries and even the White House have made official comments about clowns – should we be worried on Halloween?
Over the past month the headlines have stated:“Man in clown mask sends New Britain High School into lockdown, ” “Scary’ clown mask prompts school lockdown in Lake County ” and “Clown sightings, text threats put Rogers High School on modified lockdown ” these events were becoming a daily ritual across the country, somewhere Bozo, was going to show up.
On Thursday, Oct 27th the Morning News USA online Headline was pretty shocking “ ……it has been alleged that the killer clowns are planning a purge night on Sunday, Oct.30.”
According to an article by Ms. Stephanie Dube Dwilson of Heavy Dot Com she reported “More than 37 states so far have reported clown sightings,..” This problem also extends outside of the United States, according to Canadian equivalency of the FBI the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) a spokesperson had an interview with the regional Superintended of Schools Marilyn Marquis-Forster when it was stated “We’ve been told by RCMP that in the last couple of days there have been 178 such threats dealt with across North America, all of which have been confirmed hoaxes… ”
The White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest commenting to the media as the question was presented, “Obviously, this is a situation that local law enforcement authorities take quite seriously and they should carefully and thoroughly review, you know, perceived threats to the safety of the community and they should do so prudently,” with the concern elevating to the highest government security agencies including the FBI, and Home Land Security.
The hysteria around clowns continues, the real question is; what is going to happen on Halloween when it is acceptable to wear a mask-? And as a parent what should I be aware of, and if my child sees’s a clown and screams how should I react.
In the little city that I reside in we have two large chain stores that specialize in costumes; Halloween Alley and Party City. I went to our local Halloween Alley where I had the pleasure of walking around to check out the costumes that were on display, and spoke with the store manager, “this is most clown stuff we have ever had compared to any other year, and they are not flying off the shelves, I think I have only sold three this month. Now, on the other hand; I can’t keep the Harley Quinn costume from Suicide Squad on the shelves, it is the most popular for ages 3 – 30…”
I continued onwards to The Party City located within walking distance from Halloween Alley. They had a war room of clown masks and accessories when speaking to staff about the most favorite costumes and sales of clown attire, and They again affirmed: “..clown stuff sales are slow..”
As Halloween quickly approaches and the creepy clown craze continues across the continent, keeping in mind the perceived threats posed by them and the very real threats directed at them, a good safety tip for trick-or-treaters would be to not dress as a scary clown this year. In fact, don’t dress as a clown at all.
Here are some Halloween tips from OMS’s community police officer:
Discourage the use of masks on your children. Masks make it hard for children to see what’s around them, including cars. Makeup is a better alternative.
- Costumes should fit properly to prevent trips and falls. Avoid oversized shoes, high heels, long dresses or capes. Select costumes with bright colours to increase your child’s visibility. Add on reflective tape to costumes if possible.
- Children under 10 should be accompanied by an adult. By the age of 10, some children are ready to go trick or treating with a group of friends, never alone!
- Provide your child with a flashlight. A cellphone is a good idea if you have one.
- Draw a map outlining the route they should follow and set a curfew.
- Tell your children not to eat anything until they get home.
- Let your children draw the faces on pumpkins with a marker and leave the carving to parents.
- Start trick-or-treating early before it gets too dark.
For children and youth:
- Carry a white bag or pillowcase for your candy, or add some reflective tape.
- Bring a cellphone in case you need to make an emergency phone call.
- Always travel in groups. Be sure there are at least three of you at all times.
- Don’t visit houses that are not well lit. Never go inside a stranger’s house.
- Walk on the sidewalk whenever possible. If there’s no sidewalk, walk on the side of the road facing traffic. Don’t criss-cross back and forth across the street. Never cross between parked cars, always at crosswalks, street corners or intersections.
- Don’t eat your treats before you get home. When home, ask your parents to look through your treats with you to make sure everything is OK.
- Turn on outdoor lights and replace burnt-out bulbs.
- Remove items from your yard or porch that might trip a child.
- Sweep wet leaves from your steps and sidewalk.
- Use alternatives to candles in your pumpkins such as a flashlight or battery-operated candle. If you do use a candle, never leave it unattended.
- Drive slowly in residential areas where children are more like to be trick or treating.
- Watch out for children, many of whom may be wearing costumes with masks that make it difficult for them to see. Children are excited; they may dart out in traffic.
- Remember that costumes can limit a child’s vision and they may not be able to see your vehicle.