Safety while trick or treat­ing

The Amherst News - - CUMBERLAND COUNTY - Collen Dowe

“Pixie, kobold, elf, and sprite, All are on their rounds tonight;

In the wan moon’s sil­ver ray, Thrives their hel­ter-skel­ter play.”

When Joel Ben­ton wrote his poem about Hal­loween, he rem­i­nisced about the play, fun, pranks and mis­chief done back in the era we know as days gone by. Pranks rang­ing from kids us­ing peashoot­ers against neigh­bours who didn’t give candy to ty­ing cans to po­lice cars to dis­rupt the peace, or even the favourite of older teens - mov­ing the out­house, usu­ally one of a friend who didn’t come out with them that night. The scari­est thing about Hal­loween was wash­ing the front of your house the next day or for the un­lucky few, find­ing out the out­house was now 10 feet fur­ther back on the path than the hole.

Times have changed since then. We know there are real po­ten­tial dangers that we all can help re­duce. You have heard them be­fore but why not re­view them be­fore Hal­loween night?

Make your house Hal­loween friendly. When you are shelling out treats, light up your house to let the trick or treaters know they are wel­come there. Make sure they have a well-lit path to your door, mak­ing sure all trip­ping or slip­ping haz­ards are re­moved (porch chairs, wet leaves on stairs, jack-o-lanterns all off to one side). Con­sider pos­si­ble food al­ler­gies when choos­ing what treats to give.

Keep the streets Hal­loween friendly. Don’t do any un­nec­es­sary driv­ing that night. When you do have to drive, be ex­tra at­ten­tive. That child off to the right of you could dart out with­out a mo­ment’s no­tice. You need to be their eyes and ears. When you are out with your own chil­dren, keep an eye out for oth­ers around you. Make sure none of them are in dis­tress. Never hes­i­tate to use 911 to call for as­sis­tance if it be­comes nec­es­sary.

Re­mem­ber all the warn­ings re­gard­ing cos­tumes for your chil­dren. If you are buy­ing a cos­tume, fire re­sis­tant cos­tumes will have la­bels that say they are. Choose face makeup over a mask which can ham­per both vi­sion and breath­ing. Re­gard­less of the child’s wants, dress them for the weather. Oc­to­ber 31st is not typ­i­cally ideal beach weather. Snow or rain (some­times both) are more likely to oc­cur. En­sure they can be seen in the dark, ei­ther by se­lect­ing lighter cos­tumes or use re­flec­tive tape.

If your child is old enough to ven­ture out with­out you, make sure they are go­ing out as part of a group. Know who they are go­ing to be with, the route they plan on tak­ing and tell them when you ex­pect them to be back home. Re­mind them of the rules of the road and not to cross back and forth across the street but com­plete one side then cross and go down the other. If they don’t have their own cell­phone, give them yours for the night. En­sure they know how and when to use it.

Re­mem­ber to make sure all treats are in­spected be­fore your chil­dren par­take.

Th­ese may be some hard rules for our times, but if we fol­low them, our chil­dren will grow to have noth­ing but fond mem­o­ries of their own days gone by.

All three Cum­ber­land County Com­mu­nity Health Boards are cur­rently look­ing for new mem­bers.

Bill Schur­man and Linda Cloney are the SOAR co-chairs, Terri Ash­ley is the SPAR chair and the Pug­wash and area chair­woman is Joyce Gray.

For more in­for­ma­tion and about the board, their meet­ings or to learn how you can be­come a mem­ber please con­tact Colleen Dowe at 902-397-0376 or


From left, Leah McLean, Ro­nan Lair and Teaghan Lair are ready for Hal­loween.

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