July 20th, 2024

AHS, police urge safety in celebrating Halloween

By Alejandra Pulido-Guzman - Lethbridge Herald on October 28, 2023.

Herald file photo Children from the college daycare follow along on a trick-or-treat tour of campus during a past year's Halloween celebration at Lethbridge College.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDapulido@lethbridgeherald.com

With Halloween just around the corner, Alberta Health Services and Lethbridge Police Services are advising the public to celebrate with safety in mind.

Dr. Mila Luchak, one of the medical officers of health for the south zone, said this week assured residents they can enjoy a candy filled holiday safely.

“Some of the risks are environmental, so making sure that parents and their children or caregivers who are going out trick or treating are dressed for the weather, because as we know it’s starting to get colder and with the dropping temperatures it’s important to make sure that everyone is dressed appropriately, dressing in layers and, if possible, wearing the costume over top of those layers,” said Luchak.

She said it is important parents check the candy collected at the end of the night and children not consume any until it has been looked over by their parents to make sure there are no allergens, open candy or something homemade from someone unfamiliar.

“There are also risks with carving pumpkins,” she warned. “We know that there could be sharp objects involved, so it’s important to have parents’ supervision at all times when engaging in some of those activities and especially with putting candles into the pumpkins.”

Luchak said it’s better to use battery operated candles or lights to reduce the risk of burns or potential fire hazards.

When it comes to the candy ingestion, Luchak said it is best to not eat all of it the same day but to eat it throughout a number of days and to make sure to practice proper oral hygiene.

As Halloween is a time of the year when many families take a stroll through their neighbourhoods, LPS Sgt. Dave Warner advises them to follow the rules of the road and be vigilant not only when crossing streets, but also while driving through residential areas.

“Make sure you’re keeping an eye on the speed because we got little youngsters out there traveling around, pay attention as much as you can,” said Warner.

And for those who are walking, Warner strongly suggests they ensure they are visible. If wearing a dark costume, he suggests to have something reflective or carry a flashlight.

“For homeowners I think it’s important to make sure that your area is fairly lit. Make sure your security cameras are functioning properly, make sure cell phones are charged up in case of an emergency and give us a call if something happens.”

He said having a well-lit area benefits everyone on Halloween, not only does it keep the area safe for trick-or-treaters to navigate, but it also deters vandalism.

“Set a time that you’re going to shut down your trick or treating and once you are done, take your display down the same night if possible, because sometimes we have a lot of pumpkins and things to clean up on the street the next day.”.

Warner said trick-or-treaters should cross streets at the proper areas, at crosswalks or at a set of lights, and use the pedestrian lights to make sure drivers are alerted with enough time to stop, especially on icy roads.

“Regardless of if it’s Halloween or not, you want to make sure that you’re still abiding by the Traffic Safety Act and crossing the street lawfully and safely, because if you don’t do that you’re also affecting motorists, as nobody wants to find themselves in a situation where they accidentally hurt someone.”

There will be a visible presence of LPS officers on Halloween night to make sure citizens are safe and everyone can enjoy the festivities.

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