October 24, 2012
For Immediate Release
WINNIPEG, MB: The mere mention of Halloween can conjure up for many parents a mix of anticipation and dread. But somewhere between the hunt for the most perfectly ghoulish of children’s costumes and candy that will not offend neighbourhood kids, lies an opportunity for parents to both teach and practice with young ones the important safety strategy known as the Buddy System. The Canadian Centre for Child Protection, with the support of Honeywell, has developed an online Halloween game that will help parents teach their children, ages 4 to 6 years, about getting into the habit of always bringing a buddy along when going places.
“The Buddy System is a safety strategy that should play an integral role in children’s everyday lives, and what better time to practice it then on Halloween,” says Lianna McDonald, Executive Director, Canadian Centre for Child Protection. “We encourage parents to take a few minutes between the selecting of costumes, the purchasing of candy, and the painting of faces to discuss the Buddy System with their children so we can all make sure this Halloween is a safe one.”
Research has shown that children who go places alone are at a greater risk of being harmed. The Canadian Centre for Child Protection’s education program, Kids in the Know, has created the Billy Brings His Buddies program (www.billybuddy.ca), which includes an online Billy Brings his Buddies Halloween game, to help parents and educators alike teach children from an early age about the Buddy System. This personal strategy can help children increase their safety by teaching them the important habit of staying with a buddy when going places. Aside from the online Halloween game, the Billy Brings his Buddies program includes a free downloadable Grade 1 teacher kit, an online storybook and interactive activities to help educators and parents reinforce the Buddy System safety strategy with kids all year round. This year, over 10,000 cards were sent to Grade 1 classrooms across Canada to remind teachers to access their free downloadable Billy Brings his Buddies teacher kit online.
“Since the program began in 2006, Honeywell has been proud to partner with the Canadian Centre for Child Protection in keeping children safe” says Kerry Kennedy, Director of Honeywell Hometown Solutions which sponsors the program. “Billy Brings His Buddies is a fun, non-threatening way for children to understand simple rules to keep them out of harm’s way while still being able to enjoy Halloween.”
To learn more about the Billy Brings his Buddies program, and to access the online Halloween game visit: www.billybuddy.ca.
Click here for more Halloween safety tips.
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