How to keep your kids safe while trick or treating - South Texas, Corpus Christi, Coastal Bend

How to keep your kids safe while trick or treating

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Halloween is usually a fun night for kids but it also poses all kinds of dangers and that fun can turn tragic in only seconds.

As the colors change and the weather begins to get cool, the ghosts, mermaids and cowboys hit the neighborhoods to scare up some sweets. But there are dangers out there that you should be aware of. According to the Texas Sex Offender Registry there are at least 500 registered sex offenders in Jefferson County. The rules they must abide by, vary depending on the stipulations of their parole or probation, but there are certain ones every sex offender must follow. Trooper Stephanie Davis, with the Texas Department of Public Safety told 12 News HD, "Most registered sex offenders shouldn't have their porch lights on and the can't participate in any type of Halloween activities such as opening doors for trick or treaters."

Keeping in mind safety precautions and making sure your children know about stranger danger can prevent a tragedy. Whitney Patella told 12 News HD they started teaching their son AJ when he was very young, "Well it started before he was in kindergarten with a book, "Don't Talk to Strangers."

Patella also had her son take this safety quiz that the Center for Exploited and Missing Children Provides on line, just to brush up on what he should do in certain situations.

AJ answered all the questions correctly. Even though your children may know what to do and sex offenders know their guidelines, Trooper Stephanie Davis says you need to take the extra step to make sure safety always comes first, "That means that you don't allow your children no matter what age to go out alone. you go with them. you accompany them to the door. don't sit in the car. don't wait at the curb, but go up to the door with them."

The other precaution you can take before you hit the streets for trick or treating Wednesday night is to look up the sex offenders in the area you are taking your kids. I just picked the 24-hundred block of Laurel Avenue in Beaumont and the site tells me there are 48 registered sex offenders within a mile radius.

Patella said, "You can never be too safe. It only takes a few seconds for a tragedy"

For a list of web sites that can help you keep your kids safe and educate them about stranger danger, just click on "links we like" on