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Sandy Garrett's Column for Oct. 19

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Cooler temperatures and shorter days of fall soon will bring superheroes, cartoon characters, movie stars and more to our doorsteps, as boys and girls dress up to celebrate Halloween.
Dating back 2,000 years,”All Hallows Eve” has roots in an ancient Celtic harvest festival and the Christian holy day of All Saints Day. During the past century, Americans have helped shape Halloween into more of a whimsical, community event for children.
While Halloween is a festive and fun time, it is also one of the most dangerous celebrations of the year for children. According to Safe Kids USA, children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween than the rest of the year.
This year, families can help make Halloween less scary by following a few safety measures, such as these for a “SAFE HALLOWEEN” from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
S – Swords, knives, and similar costume accessories should be short, soft, and flexible.
A – Avoid trick-or-treating alone. Walk in groups or with a trusted adult.
F – Fasten reflective tape to costumes and bags to help drivers see you.
E – Examine all treats for choking hazards and tampering before eating them.
H – Hold a flashlight while trick-or-treating to help you see and others see you.
A – Always test make-up in a small area first and remove before bedtime to prevent irritation.
L – Look both ways before crossing the street! Use established crosswalks wherever possible.
L – Lower your risk for bacterial infection or eye injury by NOT wearing decorative contact lenses, unless they are prescribed and fitted by a medical professional.
O – Only walk on sidewalks or on the far edge of the road facing traffic to stay safe.
W – Wear well-fitting masks, costumes, and shoes to avoid blocked vision, trips, and falls.
E – Eating factory-wrapped treats is best. Avoid homemade treats unless you know the cook.
E – Enter homes only if you’re with a trusted adult; otherwise, stay outside.
N – Never walk near lit candles or luminaries. Be sure to wear flame-resistant costumes.
Here’s to a safe and happy Halloween!

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