County of Grande Prairie officials are reminding residents about the dangers of children playing in and around ditches or culverts in the region. Parks and Recreation Assistant Manager Nora-Lee Gilkyson says culverts may be partially or wholly filled with water at any time, especially during the freeze and thaw cycle seen in early winter and spring.

She adds it’s vital parents remind kids that dangers exist.

“In the eyes of a child, a culvert can appear to be a fun place to crawl and explore, similar to a playground tunnel,” she says. “However, it is important that parents remind their children of what could happen when they extend their outdoor play to areas with public infrastructure.”

Gilkyson says, aside from the sharp edges and presence of water, culverts present the added danger of a child becoming stuck inside, especially if they are towing a sleigh or bringing other play objects along with them. She adds the hope of sharing the safety message with families around culverts will bring heightened education and awareness to highlight the potential dangers.

“It is our hope that families will include this topic in safety talks with their children going forward.”