Halloween safety: Wireless phone tips

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there were an estimated 36.1 million trick-or-treaters nationwide in 2006. And in previous years, Halloween has been one of the heaviest wireless-calling days of the year at AT&T. Given these trends, AT&T recommends the following tips to maximize wireless phones as a safety tool on Halloween.

Program emergency contact numbers. Program numbers for nearby family and close friends to the speed-dial list on your and your children’s cell phones.

Have a family communications plan in place. Tell your kids to call home if they become separated from the group or if they ever feel scared or lost.

Capture/share the moment. Use your camera or video phone feature to snap those funny, spur-of-the-moment photos or videos of your kids in their Halloween costumes.

Create a trick-or-treat patrol. Have a group of adults monitoring Halloween activities by posting people with wireless phones throughout the neighborhood. It's a great way to keep neighborhoods safe and builds camaraderie.

Make sure your wireless phone has a fully charged battery. That way, you can be assured the phone is working while out and around the neighborhood.

Raise the volume. With all the noise of a group, it can be hard to hear the phone ring, so be sure to put the volume on high and select a clearly audible ring tone.

Make sure kids can easily access their wireless phone. Costumes and candy can get cumbersome -- use a belt clip or other accessory that leaves hands free but keeps the phone within easy reach.

Establish a periodic check-in time. For older children who may venture out with less supervision, set a periodic check-in time to call or text home through the evening to ensure they are OK. 

Keep a list of adults’ contact information. Trade phone numbers will all parents who are in your party, especially if you can’t physically be with your kids.

Be a Wireless Samaritan. If you see anything suspicious or out of place, use your wireless phone to call 9-1-1 or notify local law enforcement authorities.

Drive responsibly. Don’t let phone conversations be a distraction as you cruise the neighborhood.