It seems like clowns are everywhere these days, but not for the reasons that you might expect. If you’ve been paying attention to the news, you’re no doubt aware that clown appearances have escalated. They are no longer limited to fast food restaurants and children’s birthday parties. Over the last few months, a number of stories have emerged detailing violent and otherwise crazy clowns that are terrifying communities across the country. No doubt making things extra concerning for parents everywhere this Halloween.

What exactly is happening, you ask? Do you really have to worry about fending off a cadre of clowns as your children try to safely trick-or-treat across your neighborhood this year? Read on to find out.

“Crazy Clown Epidemic”: What’s Really Going On?

This year’s epidemic of violent, terrifying clown sightings seems to have started with a report out of South Carolina earlier in the year. In late August, a resident of an apartment complex stated that her son had not only seen clowns in the nearby woods who were “whispering to one another and making other types of strange noises,” but that she had seen them herself upon further investigation. Another resident of the same apartment complex had a similar story to share.

It should be noted that a local sheriff’s deputy said that he found nothing suspicious after conducting his own investigation. By then, the story had already made national news. It seems our country is desperate to find anything to talk about that is not the 2016 Presidential election.

Why do these clowns continue to get in the news? The reason why this story continues to permeate has to do with a series of fake news stories that have repeatedly gone viral during the past few months. One story stated that the problem is growing so large that even wearing a clown mask in the United States could result in a $50,000 fine. Once again, there is absolutely no truth to this story whatsoever.

It’s gone so far that even one corporate giant, Warner Brothers Home Entertainment, seized the “crazy clown epidemic” news and took the opportunity to release the 1990s TV miniseries “Stephen King’s It” earlier in October. Many consider the tele-film to be “ground zero” for an entire generation’s fear of clowns. The timing of this release couldn’t be more ironic if it tried. Or maybe it was just a smart move by the studio.

So do you have to worry about the safety of your little ones this October 31 as an army of violent clowns rampages across America? Probably not – but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t practice a few key tips to help keep them safe regardless.

Halloween Safety Tips

Here are a few key tips for parents to help keep your children safe:

  • Adult Supervision: Generally speaking, try not to leave your child alone at night. Especially if you don’t believe that they know how to take care of themselves or if they’re not old enough. If your local area is under a strict curfew for kids (as is the case in the South Carolina community where these clown incidents seem to have started), make sure that they are supervised at ALL times.
  • Strangers: Teach your kids how to be on the lookout for strangers. The key is to be aware of your surroundings. This is especially important nowadays when most kids focus completely on their mobile phones. Also, let them know that it’s okay to call the police if they see anything that makes them feel uncomfortable.
  • Clown Awareness: This might be the first time “Clown Awareness” appears as a Halloween Safety tip. Nevertheless, just because a lot of the clown stories to this point have been false, that does NOT mean you shouldn’t be suspicious of people in clown costumes. Whenever a story like this one picks up traction, copycat incidents can occur. Train your children to be aware of potential threats and advise them to react accordingly.

These are just a few of the key safety tips that you can use to keep your little ones safe this Halloween. Whether any malicious clowns appear or not.

To get more Halloween Safety Tips for this Halloween, download your “Halloween Safety Tips 2016 Edition”.

Enjoy your Halloween!