WINNIPEG, MB: October 25, 2011 --- 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.