DEAR READERS: It's autumn again -- and Halloween will soon be here. That means it's time to remind readers with small children that:
-- Somebody's child will be seriously injured or killed in a Halloween-related traffic accident.
-- Somebody's child will be badly maimed or fatally burned due to a flammable costume.
-- Somebody's child will be coaxed into an automobile or lured into a secluded area and sexually assaulted.
To make sure that that child isn't yours, I offer these tips to preserve the safety of your children:
-- Use flameproof costumes only. If costumes are made at home, treat the fabric with a flame-resistant solution.
-- Because masks, floppy hats, wigs and veils often interfere with a child's vision, use makeup instead.
-- Accessories such as swords, broomsticks, hatchets, wands, etc., should be made of cardboard rather than plastic, metal or wood. Sharp items are dangerous!
-- Provide youngsters with flashlights to prevent falls on sidewalks or porch steps. (Positively no lighted candles should be carried!)
-- Decorate your child's costume and trick-or-treat bag with reflective tape to make them highly visible to motorists.
-- Remind children that they should never enter the home of a stranger or accept rides.
-- Adults can help by keeping their yards well-lighted.
-- Parents should check all "treats" before allowing children to eat them.
-- Very young children should never be out after dark unless accompanied by an adult.
So, let's make it a safe Halloween for all children, and come Thanksgiving, we will have more to be thankful for.