Halloween Safety Reminder from Health Canada (and from The Urban Daddy)


Halloween Safety

During the Halloween season it is important to keep your child’s safety in mind when planning costumes, decorations, treats and activities. Make sure that Halloween is a safe and happy experience for the whole family by preparing ahead of time.

Choose the right costume

      • Look for costumes and accessories such as beards, wigs, wings and tails that are labelled flame-resistant. Flowing skirts and capes, baggy sleeves and over-sized costumes can all be hazards around candles or flames.
      • Pick brightly coloured costumes that can be clearly seen by motorists. Add reflective tape to the costume to increase visibility.
      • Use make-up or face paint instead of masks – improperly fitted masks can interfere with your child’s vision or breathing. If you do choose a mask, make sure it fits properly and allows them to see and breathe easily.
      • Do not use contact lenses that change eye colour or create special effects because they can cause injury to a child’s eyes.

Avoid danger when decorating

      • To avoid injuries, let children draw a face or design on the pumpkin and then have an adult carve it.
      • Candles, jack-o-lanterns, lighters and matches are all fire hazards. Place lighted candles and jack-o-lanterns away from curtains and other flammable objects, and do not leave them unattended.  Instead of candles, consider using a small flashlight or battery candle to light your jack-o-lantern.
      • Keep candles, matches, lighters and other fire hazards in a place that children cannot reach.
      • Check indoor and outdoor decorative lights for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires or loose connections. Do not overload extension cords.

Stay secure while trick or treating

      • Go trick or treating with your children each year until they are old enough to go with a friend.
      • Give each child a flashlight to carry, to make them more visible to motorists and others.
      • Tell your children to stay in well-lit areas and only visit homes that have their outside lights turned on.
      • Make sure they know never to go inside homes or cars.
      • Teach your children to be careful when crossing the street. Make sure they look both ways and only cross when no cars are coming. Cross streets at the corner, and never cross between parked cars.

For more safety tips, visit: 
http://healthycanadians.gc.ca/security-securite/home-maison/halloween-eng.php

Health Canada
Communications and Public Affairs Branch
Ontario Region

 

If you’ve made it this far, The Urban Daddy’s tip is this;  Trade the candy your children get for a toy.  Give out the candy you don’t want to eat (lol) and let them keep 5-10 pieces.

The candy will be long gone, but the toy will last until they lose interest in it.

 

Works like a charm!

US Politics: Can You Hear it? Locker-Room Talk All About Trump’s Campaign Implosion


As a Canadian who has been besieged by US Presidential election coverage for over a year and a half I have to say it was Donald Trump who actually made me by attention for the better part of that year-and-a-half.  Heck, I even watched half of one of the debates.

If this were Canadian politics, I would have watch both debates in their entirety and would be bitching and whining on my blog.

But how could I not maintain interest in this election?  The 1st woman President was only going to be held back by her husbands wandering genitals until Trump, always the entertainer, told us she was dying, unfit, stupid, and that she would continue to do nothing for the US public…

He made her package of Hilary Clinton as confusing as his comb-up, comb-over, comb-across hair style, or the colour of his skin.

Sure, we have a Trump Tower here in downtown Toronto which, if I recall correctly, has been dropping panes of glass for a couple of year, but it’s Donald Trump!  He’s rich, he’s owned parts of Vegas, and he’s been bankrupt before once or twice.  Heck, he’s the host of the Apprentice!

You’re fired!

While everyone was discounting his chance of winning, Trump kept zinging left, right and centre at anyone and everyone in his way.  Sure, there was talk of a wall between Mexico and the US (Mexico is paying for it!), or the talk of a wall between Canada and the US (can’t trust those friendly Canadians, eh?  Might want to come to the US because our health system sucks).  Trump made noise which resonated with more and more people for all the wrong reasons, and he was gaining momentum.

Attacks on US soil by Americans who may or may not have had ties to Islam prompted Trump to propose a ban on “Muslims” coming to the US, which morphed into a “loyalty” test for Muslims travelling to the US, or applying for citizenship.

Call it crazy, insane, stupid, or impossible but it got people talking Trump.  The bigots bought into it, while the tree huggers called him a fascist.  He was in the news for all the right reasons.

The campaign progressed and out came comments praising China, Russia, Putin, etc., and Trumps popularity grew as he became the unpolitician.  Everyone knew these countries were huge violators of human rights, but boy were their leaders ever popular!

Trump campaigned as being different than the rest.  He was going to make America great again, and save citizens from the same “politicking” that goes on day in and day out.

He said Hilary Clinton has Parkinsons disease and his legend grew along with his approval ratings.

He deflected negative talk, had answers for everything except for his policies, and he was great to watch for his entertainment value…

He WAS entertaining.

Now he’s not.

Trump is in deep trouble because someone left the closet door open and there are a LOT of skeletons in his closet!

He sexually assaults women.

And he’s okay with it.

No, he brags about it.

He bragged about grabbing a woman by the “pussy” and kissing them if he feels like it.

He’s gross, vile, and a criminal who just admitted to sexually assaulting woman.

“Just locker room talk” he said.

Rob Ford said he wasn’t addicted to crack cocaine.

If that isn’t enough reason to not vote for him, I don’t know what it.

Say what you will about Trump now… It really doesn’t matter.  He’s tainted himself and the American public.  If he gets elected, he’s the US President who grabs woman by the crotch.  If he wins, the American people voted in a leader with extremely poor ethics.

While voting for him doesn’t mean that you’re condoning sexual assault in the same way that supporting the Conservative party here in Canada doesn’t make you anti-abortion, pro-guns and anti-immigration, it does mean a man who admits to sexually assaulting women becomes the US President over a woman and that just seems wrong.

As a parent, of a girl and boys, do we really need to send the message to our youth that even if you sexually assault, or admit to / brag about sexual assault, it’s all okay and you can be anything you want.  I don’t think so!

Sideshow aside, Ronald Reagan was US President, and if Bobo can go to college, anything is possible…

 

Lemmy from Motorhead has died! His Life Comes with a Parental Advisory: Kids Don’t Try This At Home!


Here is an example of how parenting evolves as our kids get older;

Just before the new year came news that Motörhead frontman Ian Kilmister, simply known as “Lemmy” had died after a brief battle with an aggressive form of cancer.  Kilmister – famous for his handlebar moustache, villians cowboy hat, mutton chops and a mole on his face was 70-years-old.

As I sat down to write this post, I realized at that time that I was not a Motorhead fan.  I didn’t really like their “big” hit, “Ace of Spades” and to be honest, I really knew nothing about the band until they penned the theme song for then WWE superstar Triple H / Now CEO of WWE, Hunter Hurst Helmsley.

Doing some research I learned and interesting fact about Lemmy, that he was once a roadie for legendary guitarist Jimi Hendrix, and that he formed Motörhead in 1975 after being kicked out of a band named Hawkwind.  I learned that Hawkwind was a space-rock outfit so warped, that their lead singer/poet once came onstage in a witch’s hat and attacked Lemmy with a sword.  I can’t see how he would have fit in with an outfit like that.

After all, Motörhead did okay for themselves, releasing 22 studio albums over 38 years.

But with all that what people were really talking about was the fact that Lemmy loved being on the road – claims he slept with over 1000 women – but he also claimed he was going to sell his facial warts on eBay (UGH!).  He loved the drugs and the booze and I remember reading somewhere that by 1980, his doctor told him, “You don’t have human blood any more. And you can’t give blood, either. Forget it, you’d kill the average person because you’re so toxic.”

He did “claim” in recent years to have given up his daily regimen of a bottle of Jack Daniels with Coke – in favour of vodka with healthy orange juice.

Yes, Lemmy passed away at 70-years-old, and by all accounts because of his partying and lack of attention to his health, its amazing that he did.  I feel it’s important to have that conversation with our children who hear about people like Lemmy and think that it’s okay to treat their bodies this way, because it’s just not true.

Word on the street was that Lemmy died sitting at home in front of his favourite video game.  He played rock music and he loved WWII memorabilia.  He might seem to be a rock g-d to adults who grew up thinking that was cool – but to the younger generation I think we owe it to them to also let them know both sides of everyone, and that as he aged, Lemmy had to cancel shows due to a hematoma, respiratory issues, and a heart condition for which he was fitted with a defibrillator.

Years of abuse caught up to him.  He forgot lyrics to songs, and walked off stage at concerts because he couldn’t do it anymore.

Fans of the band from back in the day and fans from their recent WWE success will mourn the musician and curious fans will read about Lemmy, the rock legend.  Hopefully there are articles about him which present both sides of the man and comes with a warning message to children…

Kids.  Don’t try this at home!

My Son Was Traded This Morning!


I know hockey and I love hockey.  I’ve never played ice hockey but I have coached ice hockey – 6 years while in my early 20’s because my sports physiotherapist needed someone to open and close the bench doors.  I had always thought it was because he didn’t like the 6am and 7am games!

I learned to skate while teaching the kids how to play the game, and how to be winners on and off the ice.

In those 6 years we won one championship and made it to the finals 5 times because we never had the best players in the league, nor the top select players, but we made these kids buy into the team concept which meant all the players, no matter how good, bad or new to the game, were a key part.

Hockey is, after all, a team sport!

My wife found it unusual that with my love and passion I hold for hockey, I never pushed my kids into the sport.  I tried, trust me, but they didn’t like it.  They hated staking, they didn’t like watching the Leafs and they had no desire to shoot around a ball in the basement.

Then something changed…

The school my kids attended arranged for skating lessons during the day, and my middle child, Stewie’s class was full of top ranked hockey players, kids who could skate, shoot, pass and play the sport better than other kids their age and Stewie always felt awkward skating around his classmates.  He’s a tall kid for his age and watching him stand on skates reminded me of a newborn giraffe trying to stand for the first time.

I was there, on the ice with him at his school’s skate day when his classmates skated over to him and instead of making fun of him, helped him stand, brought him the on-ice support and were giving him tips to be a better skater.  I could see in his eyes that he was very appreciative of their support and he was determined to skate without support.

From that day came lessons after lessons, plus a learn-to-play hockey program and finally this season a debut in house league hockey.  He’s a much better skater than 2 years ago, and his hockey sense is quite high for someone who refuses to watch the sport.  He continues to get better and better each game, practice and lesson and he knows he has a long way to go.

He also knew that on his 0-7 team there was a very good chance that he was going to be traded.  Not only were a lot of the kids on the team together from previous years, but he understood that to get new players, better players, you would have to give up your “lower-skilled” players (his words) and not the “worst” players.

Then came the news!

He was traded.

From a 0-7 team to a 7-0 team.

He’s not all that pleased about it either.  You see, he is worried that his new teammates will not know that he’s just learning the sport, but they will see a very tall kid who tries very hard but is not the fastest, not yet able to deke players out, or who can raise the puck.

He’s worried that they will think he sucks and that the best players left the team because of him.

UGH.

So I have reached out to the convenors, trying to get the new coaches contact information so I can let them know that they are getting a kid who wants to learn the game and who will do whatever he can to be better and make the team better.  It’s been 2 days and no one has reached out, oh, except his old coaches who have asked for his jersey and socks back.

So what would I do in this situation?!?

I would do what is right for the children!  I would have a really long look at the coaches who have volunteered to coach these teams to make sure they are looking after the kids best interests and not their own.  I see teams playing poorly in hopes that their team won’t be broken up by trades and wonder aloud who does this help?!?  Does that coach get an award for stocking his team while other teams struggle, or worse, what message does that send to the kids when they see a coach trying to lose in order to protect the core of the team…

I would rather the league NOT make the trades, but instead work with the coaches to teach the children to play as a team.

Sure, little Johnny can only score 3 goals, then any goals he scores after that do not count, but does it benefit the kids on either side if Johnny still dekes the entire team, then stands by the side of the net waiting for a teammate to skate to the net so that Johnny can pass to him or shoot the puck in off of him?

Does it benefit the kids that the league will not post the score when it exceeds a 5-goal differential?  Nope, the kids know the real score so they might as well post it, but would it hurt the other coach to take his better offensive players and teach them defense, or passing instead.  By doing that, his team learns proper positioning and the defensive team can also learn proper positioning.  That would be a win-win situation!

Instead, we let the coaches run wild, we make the better kids feel special and we make the lower kids feel useless all in the name of hockey instead of using this special position of leadership to teach the kids to be good teammates, and to help their team win without rubbing it into the faces of their opponents.

I’ve applied to be a part of the convenor team because of how strongly I feel about the opportunity to teach kids to be better kids and win, lose or draw.

I guess I know who will be coaching next season…

No trades please!  We’ll be fine.