Trick or treat on foot

safe trick or treaters, halloween and evil people, keeping kids safe on halloween. walking and trick or treating. Going alone on halloween. Halloween isn't what it used to be. Diabetes and childhood obesity and halloween.

Photo by bloximages

During my regular radio spot on Mondays with Wireless Mike during the coffee break at 10:15 am, we talked about the differences between Halloween for “kids today” and 20, 30, 40 years ago.

One of the biggest differences is the skyrocketing number of fat and diabetic kids, and the prediction that one-in-three adults will be diabetic by 2050.

I blame the car and its drivers for the obesity and diabetes epidemics.

We drive everywhere, including parents driving kids house-to-house on Oct. 31 in fear of Jack the Ripper.

According to research by Lenore Skenazy, the famous NYC mother who let her 10-year-old son ride the subway home alone , the rates of childhood abduction have not changed since Baby Boomers grew up.

Skenazy devoted a whole chapter in her book, “Free Range Kids” to the myth of Halloween danger. Only one American was ever convicted for fatal Halloween mischief — a father who poisoned his son for the insurance money.

What HAS changed is the media focus on childhood safety, fingerprinting children and assuming every adult is a potential kidnapper, rapist and ax-murderer. Yes, the Catholic Church helped perpetuate that myth.

In reality, children are most likely to be abducted by a relative [read: estranged parent] and/or a young person ran away from home.

Children are in no more danger for kidnapping than their parents were 20, 30 or 40 years ago. Children today have a one-in-1.5 million chance of being abducted and murdered by a stranger — LOWER than the possibility of getting struck by lightning.

Most parents don’t obsess over the possibility of a lightning strike. So why obsess over stranger danger?

Parents could use “worry power” to obsess over obesity — which about one-third of young people suffer from, that can lead to diabetes, stroke, heart disease and high blood pressure.

For starters, walk from house to house on Halloween.

Next, make sure everyone in the family has a bike. Start biking to places close to home. Use a bike for transportation at least eight months of the year in New England.

Wear them out by walking long distances on Halloween.

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