News and Media

ONLINE GAME CAN HELP TEACH KIDS ABOUT HALLOWEEN SAFETY

October 25, 2011
For Immediate Release

Parents urged to talk to their trick-or-treaters about safety strategies

WINNIPEG, MB: To help ensure this Halloween is a safe one, the Canadian Centre for Child Protection is encouraging parents to set some time aside to talk to their children about ways to stay safe while trick-or-treating.

"Personal safety discussions should happen year-round with children of all ages. With Halloween just around the corner - it's a perfect opportunity for parents to sit down with their kids and discuss the importance of using the buddy system and other tips that can help keep them safe," said Lianna McDonald, Executive Director of the Canadian Centre for Child Protection. "The more regularly these discussions happen with children, the more likely we are to reduce their risk of victimization."

To help teach younger children about the Buddy System, McDonald encouraged parents of children in Kindergarten to Grade One to visit billybuddy.ca and use the interactive Halloween game to reinforce this important safety strategy. The game is part of the Billy Brings his Buddies program, which includes a Grade One teacher kit, an online storybook and interactive activities to help educators and parents reinforce the buddy system with kids year-round. Thanks to support from Honeywell, for the sixth consecutive year, the Canadian Centre has recently distributed Billy Brings his Buddies Grade 1 teacher kits free-of-charge to nearly 11,000 Canadian schools to reach more than 300,000 students.

"Family safety and security is one of Honeywell's top priorities, and we are proud that our long-standing partnership with the Canadian Centre for Child Protection is helping to increase the safety of children and reduce their risk of victimization," said Tom Buckmaster, President, Honeywell Hometown Solutions. "Nothing is more important than the safety and security of our children."

For parents with older children, McDonald said it's important to take steps such as planning the trick-or-treating route their children will take, and discussing the importance of staying in well-known and well-lit areas. Kids should be taught to avoid going into people's homes for treats, to know where to go if they run into any trouble, and importantly - to trust their instincts. If possible, older children should carry a cell phone. To download the Canadian Centre's Halloween safety tips sheet and to access the Billy Brings his Buddies Halloween Game, parents and educators can visit billybuddy.ca.

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If you are a member of the media and would like to arrange an interview with one of our spokespeople please contact our communications team:

Communications, Canadian Centre for Child Protection

Phone:
204-945-8074
204-801-2979 (Cell)

Email:
communications@protectchildren.ca

 

 

BACKGROUNDER: HALLOWEEN SAFETY

In partnership with Honeywell, the Canadian Centre for Child Protection's Billy Brings his Buddies program includes a fun online Halloween game to help parents reinforce the buddy system with their children (Kindergarten - Grade 1). Visit billybuddy.ca to access this and other games and activities, or for more information about the Billy Brings his Buddies program.

Halloween Safety Tips for Parents:

  • Plan the route you and your children will take ahead of time. Talk to them about the importance of staying in well-known areas, on well-lit streets, and about avoiding shortcuts through back lanes or cutting through people's property. Once they are old enough to go out for Halloween without an adult accompanying them, know the route they will be taking.
  • Young children should be accompanied by a safe adult. Once children are old enough to go out on their own, they should use the Buddy System or travel in groups. There is increased safety in numbers!
  • Teach your children to avoid going into people's homes for treats. Instead, encourage them to stand outside the door while waiting to receive their goodies!
  • Teach children not to go places with anyone without first having permission from you or the adult in charge.
  • For older children who are going out with friends, arrange a time for them to check in and a time for them to be home for the night. Have them call to make arrangements if plans change.
  • Make sure younger children know their personal information (full name, address and phone number) in case they become separated from you or the adult in charge.
  • Teach children which houses they can go to if they run into any trouble.
  • If possible, have older children take a cell phone with them trick-or-treating.
  • Teach children to trust their instincts. Talk to them about the importance of knowing that when something doesn't "feel right" to them, that they should trust that feeling and remove themselves from the situation as soon as they can.

The Canadian Centre for Child Protection encourages parents to make personal safety education an integral part of their family's everyday life. To learn more or to access free safety lessons and activities, visit kidsintheknow.ca.