Putting safety first this Halloween

Halloween is traditionally a time of the year when spirits and souls are let loose on earth. For most people Halloween is a special time where children in neighborhoods across North America and beyond take a day to dress up in creative costumes and collect candy.

Halloween is traditionally a time of the year when spirits and souls are let loose on earth. For most people Halloween is a special time where children in neighborhoods across North America and beyond take a day to dress up in creative costumes and collect candy.

Children usually dress up as a wizard, princess, ghost, superhero, pirate, celebrity, etc and make their way door to door across their neighborhoods declaring ‘trick or treat!’.

These kids will be all over the streets on Oct. 31 running around and it’s important that they, their parents and the public keep an eye out for these trick-or-treaters.

There are many children that will be headed door to door in the evening. According to Statistics Canada there were 3,931,761 Canadian children trick-or-treating in 2006 and 12,435,520 residences where candy could possibly have been handed out to these trick-or-treaters.

In Oct. 2006 the spike in monthly sales of candy was $266 million compared to the average monthly sales of candy at $218 million.

With the tons and tons of candy being handed out by neighbours and strangers, parents should advise their young trick-or-treaters to not eat their goods until they, themselves, have sorted the candy and checked it over.

There have been numerous stories of people poisoning candy or putting razorblades in apples, etc. and although it rarely happens it is still smart to be cautious.

Mischief seems to go hand in hand with Halloween and each year there seems to be some type of vandalism done to houses or other buildings. According to Statistics Canada, in 2006, one out of every five middle school students had reported committing at least one mischievous act. The International Youth Survey has also found that a small number of young people are responsible for a large number of repeated delinquent acts.

Halloween is not a time or an excuse to throw eggs at people’s houses, toilet paper neighbours’ trees or destroy someone’s property. This vandalism could also result in getting hurt or in trouble with parents or police.

If vandalism has been an issue during Halloween in Ponoka in the past, the fairly new curfew bylaw could prove to be a tool in curbing what mess could have possibly been made.

Young Halloween goers should have costumes that can be seen easily, even putting reflectors on costumes provides for extra safety. Those driving through the town during Oct. 31 should keep an eye out for these disguised children day and night and take extra care to drive slow and watch the road.

If going door to door is not something that is of interest to you, Ponoka has had and will have many events to offer fun this Halloween. The Word of Life Church hosted the Great Pumpkin Hunt, a family fun-filled event that drew many people from the community and beyond. The Ponoka Aquaplex had a scary Halloween Howler, the Ponoka Youth Centre is encouraging safety by hosting a Halloween party and many other businesses and organizations will be decorating and having events.

For those young at heart, Halloween is a great excuse to dress up and go to a house party or attend an event to help celebrate the day. Just as it is important for kids to be safe this Halloween, it is also crucial that adults take care on Oct. 31 as well.

This means not drinking during the evening or making sure that there is a trusted designated driver that will get you and your friends home safe and sound.

If you are hosting a party that involves alcohol, make sure that there is a list of phone numbers available that people can call to get a safe ride back home.

Whatever the plan is for this Halloween, do not drink and drive, it will put your life and the lives of the little trick-or-treaters at risk, it’s not worth it.

Whether you are planning on taking your kids trick-or-treating, going to a party or trick-or-treating yourself, take care, watch out for others and have a happy Halloween.