The leaves are falling, the air is beginning to feel cool, and we are starting to pull out our jackets each morning only to take them off again at Noon. We are beginning to prepare for the dreaded ‘S’ word, which will be here before we know it. Perhaps I’m not the only one who has noticed there is something else in the air... the spirit of Halloween!
We are beginning to see the spooky yards with decorations, parents in the store with costumes in hand and carts full of candy. This time of year is magical for all ages! Children will soon fill the sidewalks with all kinds of characters, ready to experience the fun filled evening that Halloween provides for the youngsters in our community. For adults, seeing all the children can bring us pure happiness and laughter, at least it does for me. When I see the different costumes, and the dedication that children have to venturing out in our Saskatchewan weather on Halloween night, I enjoy seeing their spirit and sense their joy. To witness the little ones taking part in a tradition that has been passed down from generation to generation is magical to see.
With all the fun to be had, we want to ensure safety is top priority! Each child should be able to have a 'spooktacular' night from start to finish, and get home safe to enjoy some treats to end the night. Watch the video to review a few safety tips:
We are almost ready to shout, “Trick or Treat”! Halloween night can be a chilly one, I know putting our costumes over a snowsuit is no fun, but being warm means keeping ourselves safe. The weather is constantly changing at this time of year, so to ensure adults and the children are dressed appropriately, double check what the temperature will be for trick or treating.
Sometimes there are potential hazards when it comes to decorations, such as candles inside Halloween decorations, perhaps inside pumpkins, so it is best to keep a safe distance and be cautious.
Being visible is one thing, but having visibility is another! Are you able to see out of your costume? Perhaps there is a potential tripping hazard with your costume, we want to protect ourselves and others from having a trip occur. Make sure an adult goes through each child’s candy haul before they indulge in their delicious collection. Any suspicious items in the bag like opened wrappers or lose candy should be discarded, to be on the safe side.
Respect the space of others while going door to door. Social distancing is a big part of the world we live in today, so keep a safe distance of 6 feet from others who are not part of your group.
Although Halloween is mostly an outdoor adventure, face masks worn can be a brilliant idea to keep each other safe. Consider wearing a face mask if your costume leaves your face exposed. By following a few safety tips, your Halloween night will be nothing but 'TERROR-ific' fun!
Let’s hear from you! What will you and your family be dressed as this Halloween?
Community Relations Coordinator
The ultimate title of ‘man’s best friend’ has been well earned over the last millennia by our canine companions. That is, until recently. A new companion has arrived: It is electronic, it fits in our pocket, and even though its computing power surpasses most ten-year-old desktops, we still underwhelmingly call it a ‘phone’. As these electronic devices become more integral to our everyday lives, this new iteration of ‘man’s best friend’ is now regularly in our hands at the coffee shop, grocery store, at our workplaces, and in our homes. Rather than setting aside dedicated time to operating these devices, they are invited with us wherever we go. This is where a danger exists, because as we rely on our mobile electronic tools more and more, the temptation to multitask grows stronger. The lines are becoming blurred between a safe moment and an unsafe moment to operate these handheld devices, because their use as we complete daily tasks is perceived as more natural every day.
What can be said about our new electronic companions that have not become obvious? Yes, they are a distraction. Yes, they have become necessary. And no, there is no alternative for them in sight. Discovery, communication, entertainment-it’s all there on our devices. For those concerned about dangerous distractions, the expulsion of these devices from society cannot be a reasonable objective. No rational argument can be made to remove these machines from our lives. Limitations on their use, like distracted driving laws, are working towards a solution. But what about other situations where multitasking on a mobile device becomes a distraction?
The real problem with our new electronic best friend is becoming clear. These powerful handheld computers can present a danger to our wellbeing because we seem unable to resist operating them whilst conducting our daily business. Learning which situations are suitable to sneak a quick look down at our devices, and which are not, is a valuable step in understanding the risky situations we put ourselves in every day. So, when is an appropriate time to utilize these mobile tools? If it is too distracting to use a device while driving or cycling, is an everyday task like walking down the street also too hazardous to justify operating our ‘phones’?
In 2018, researchers in British Columbia at UBC Kamloops investigated this concept of distracted walking. Researchers set up cameras to track the prevalence of mobile device use at a busy intersection. They found that over 1/3 of pedestrians were using a device while crossing the street. The analysis revealed that “A significant difference was found between mean gait characteristics of step velocity, cadence, double limb support, and mean step length during normal walking and walking while texting”. Long study short, these distracted pedestrians became an identifiably different type of pedestrian as they used their electronic devices.
Prevention of injuries and fatalities is the reason we design and implement walking infrastructure and traffic accommodation. These safety measures are designed to protect us as undistracted pedestrians, focused on walking, with our eyes generally directed forward. But, could any preventative measure be enough for the new generation of multitasking, tech-savvy, and extremely distracted pedestrians?