Monday October 31, 2022 | VANCOUVER ISLAND, BC
by Mary P Brooke | Island Social Trends
It’s Halloween! Tonight kids will be out trick-or-treating with their families. As of this morning, the weather was rainy, but that may not put a dent in door-to-door enthusiasm, as the skies are clearing my mid-afternoon.
While larger community events are being held across the Greater Victoria area, the traditional door-to-door fun of trick-or-treating will be important for many families.
Many households go to a lot of trouble to decorate their homes, acquire an inventory of candy handouts, and will offer a friendly experience for kids at the door. It’s a powerful community thread of common experience.
Especially when teens show up at your door … they’re still trying to hold onto childhood .. make it a special moment!
Households should keep their lights on and porch or walkway clear of things kids might trip on.
This year there hasn’t been much mention of COVID-related safety. Outdoor activities are of course safer than indoors.
Remember hand hygiene when returning home.
Free bus transit:
BC Transit offers some tips for staying safe on Halloween night, says their buses are “a safe place for anyone”.
Buses can be used by children who may have gotten distracted by all the candy and costumes and may have gotten separated from their group, said BC Transit in a news release on Friday.
Transit is free for children 12 and under.
Here are some tips for staying safe while out trick or treating:
- Young children should be accompanied by an adult or responsible older child.
- It is important to be seen, so carry a flashlight and/or incorporate LED lights or reflective strips into costumes.
- Full masks could make it difficult for a child to see where they’re going: eye-safe makeup might be a better choice.
- Always cross at intersections, crosswalks or street corner. Cross only when safe to do so.
- Remind all trick-or-treaters to stop at the curb, look both ways, and listen for oncoming traffic.
- Stick to neighbourhoods that you are familiar with and that have good street lighting.
Safety tips are posted online at busready.bctransit.com/halloween along with additional resources for children age 12 and under at busready.bctransit.com (including an 8-step video series to support young people on their journey to take transit for the first time).
Check your candy:
Always check your candy and make sure it is safe before consuming it.
Many households go to the trouble and expense of providing commercially-packaged treats like chocolate bars and bags of chips.
Avoiding cannabis treats:
Parents and caregivers should be alert and check their little ghost’s or goblin’s candy and treats to ensure no cannabis products were accidentally handed out, said the BC Ministry of Public Safety and Attorney General in a news release on October 28.
“We count on parents and all those who choose to consume cannabis to help keep kids safe. Illegal cannabis often comes in bright and colourful packaging designed to look like popular candy that kids love to get this time of year,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General.
“It is also important to remember that legal cannabis products can still be attractive to children, and it’s critical for people to put away, lock up and safely store any cannabis products they may have been using – especially edible varieties that could look enticing to young children,” said Farnworth.
The dangers posed to young people by illegal, colourful packaging are frequently compounded by a high THC concentration in the unregulated product. All legal cannabis producers must follow strict packaging and labelling rules to ensure products do not appeal to children and youth.
In British Columbia, only adults 19 and older may purchase, possess and consume non-medical cannabis products. Strict penalties are in place for those who sell or provide these products to minors. The federal government offers information on accidental ingestion of illegal cannabis copycat products.
It is also important that party-goers plan a safe ride home if they will be consuming cannabis or alcohol as part of Halloween celebrations.
===== ABOUT ISLAND SOCIAL TRENDS:
Island Social Trends (formerly West Shore Voice News, and before that Sooke Voice News) has been publishing news of the west shore and south Vancouver Island since 2008. Editor & publisher: Mary P Brooke.