October 4, 2009

Halloween: Prime time for predators

Halloween harbors heightened stranger dangers for children, the head of a U.S. security company warns.

Trip Wakefield, chief executive officer of Thin Air Wireless in Houston, says Halloween is an increasingly relevant worry for parents since Halloween seems to be prime time for sexual predators.

Wakefield suggests parents scan for registered sex offenders before taking the kids out to trick-or-treat.

The Offender Locator -- a downloadable app available for iPhones -- is currently the 23rd most popular iPhone application in the top paid app category, and fourth in utilities, Wakefield says.

Two versions -- one is free -- are available under utilities for download in the iTunes Store.

A GPS device -- used most often to track high-risk individuals like teenage drivers, Alzheimer's wanderers and autistic children -- can be clipped to a trick-or-treater's belt, Wakefield says.

With Halloween just a month away, the time to begin talking about safety with your child is now, Wakefield says in a statement.

Wakefield also suggests:

-- To keep to well-known neighborhoods.

-- To visit only houses that are lit.

-- And that an adult be with children under age 10 at all times.