Friday, October 24, 2014

Remember kids, safety first this Halloween

It's a wonder the human race has made it as long as we have.
What with all the dangerous activities we indulged in during our youth, it is amazing any of us survived.
There are more rules, regulations and safety precautions now than ever before in the history of mankind.
When I was young – which was a long time ago – we only wore helmets when we played hockey. No one had even thought of wearing a helmet when riding a bike, but now they are mandatory.
I am not saying it is a bad thing as helmets do save people from injury, but it is just another sign of how times have changed.
Take Halloween for example. The third coolest day of the year is coming up (Christmas and my birthday are the coolest days) and the list of how to have a safe Halloween is growing ever longer.
Again, I do understand the need for safety, but the list gets more detailed every year and with each item added a little chunk of the carefree fun is taken out.
When I was a kid we wore those smelly, plastic masks that got all sweaty when you breathed to the point you had condensation running down your chin like you were a St. Bernard.
Of course, the eye holes were just big enough to see straight ahead, but not to the sides, top or bottom, perfect for running around the neighbourhood in the dark.
But every store sold them and a lot of kids wore them.
Back in the day, I do not recall officials of any type passing on safety tips about anything other than to let your parents check your goodies before you eat anything in case some lunatic stuck a razor blade in an apple.
I assume that must have happened at some point, or the warning would not have been issued and we were all deathly afraid of apples and homemade treats that could be laced with something nasty.
But we never heard a peep about the masks we wore, our costumes or most of the stuff they worry about these days.
The other day I was emailed a very extensive list of safety procedures everyone should follow this All Hollow's Eve.
People are advised to wear reflective vests and armbands over their costumes.
Oh look, another vampire construction worker.”
I know, safety first, but some of these rules must have come from desk of Capt. Obvious.
Children should wear a costume that fits properly and be flame resistant.
Really? I was going to send my daughter out in my dark-blue, oil-soaked coveralls, work boots and gloves - with a mask that blocks her vision of course.
Children should not run back and forth across the street.
"But, officer I am going as a jaywalker this Halloween, and you wouldn't want me to break character.”
Never get in a car with a stranger is more of a year-round safety advisory I thought, but it was on the list of what not to do this Halloween.
Parents should be aware of the route their children are taking.
Ya, good luck with that.
Parents should accompany children as they trick or treat.
When I was a little guy, my parental charges would escort our Halloween adventure, but when I neared the double digit years they accompanied me to the front door, said if the police bring home I will be in more trouble with them than the cops and told me to be careful.
These are just a few of the 30 or so Halloween safety tips that I received.
I agree safety is paramount, but let's not stifle our children so much they can not have any fun, or eventually they will all be going dressed as the bubble wrap vampire, the bubble wrap Frankenstein, the bubble get the idea.

Copyright 2014, Darren Handschuh

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