“Trick or treat!”
It’s something people are likely to hear countless times this evening as youngsters around the region prepare to descend upon the homes in their neighborhoods to gather candy as part of annual trick-or-treating festivities.
In fact, an estimated 120 million children and adults dress up in costumes for Halloween each year, and 72 percent of adults say they hand out candy to trick-or-treaters, making today one of the most popular holidays of the year.
Of course, on a night that’s supposed to be full of fun and treats, there is always the chance of a few tricks sneaking in. And while the spirit of the holiday can certainly be thought of as a spooky one, there are things parents should do to make sure their children stay safe while trick-or-treating.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends the following tips to help ensure your Halloween is a safe one:
• Children shouldn’t snack while they’re trick-or-treating. Urge kids to wait until they get home and parents have had a chance to inspect the contents of their “goody bags.”
• To help prevent children from snacking, give them a light meal or snack before they head out — don’t send them out on an empty stomach.
• Tell children not to accept — and especially not to eat — anything that isn’t commercially wrapped.
• Parents of very young children should remove any choking hazards such as gum, peanuts, hard candies or small toys.
• Inspect commercially wrapped treats for signs of tampering, such as an unusual appearance or discoloration, tiny pinholes or tears in wrappers. Throw away anything that looks suspicious.
But the safety precautions don’t end with the candy.
In fact, parents should take time before trick-or-treating begins to make sure their youngsters have safe costumes. That means nothing that could easily catch on fire; no sharp plastic objects such as swords or daggers; and making sure reflective tape is added so kids are easily seen by motorists in the area.
Other safety precautions kids should keep in mind include looking both ways before crossing the street, carrying a flashlight and only trick-or-treating at homes where a porch light is on.
These safety tips may sound like common sense, but trick-or-treating can be an exciting time for little ones, making it easy for good decisions and smart practices to slip their mind.
We hope parents take time this evening to remind their youngsters to be extra vigilant this Halloween.
“Trick or treat!”
Message to ‘buckle up and park the phone’ is saving lives
A figure that we haven’t seen that much in recent years is the highway death toll for a given period.
Is the death toll up, down or just about the same as it was?
The West Virginia Southern Regional Highway Safety Program has announced there were 325 highway fatalities in 2013, the second-lowest number on record.
State native Burwell can ‘deliver results’ as Health and Human Services secretary
Sylvia Mathews Burwell might not be a name with which most people are immediately familiar.
For the past year, she has run the budget office under President Barack Obama.
Prior to that, she served as president of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Global Development Program and later the Wal-Mart Foundation.
Marion scores well in recent health report but could do better
When it comes to area-wide studies, especially on health, there’s usually good news and bad news.
So was the recent report on the health of America’s counties released by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation recently. The nationwide county study evaluated health outcomes and health factors, and ranked counties accordingly.
COLUMN: ‘Instant’ news not always reliable
That little word has a pretty big meaning. With origins that date back to the 15th century, it means urgent, current, immediate.
But think about how that word has developed over the past few decades.
Instant pudding. Instead of slaving over a hot stove for a few minutes, you can now pour cold milk and with a bit of stirring, instant pudding!
Decision to be an organ donor can save lives
Chelsea Clair watched as her father died waiting for a bone marrow transplant.
So when she met Kyle Froelich at a car show in 2009 and heard about his struggles to find a kidney that would match his unique needs, she never hesitated to offer hers to the man she just met.
Volunteers continue to have priceless impact on community
Chances are, you know someone who volunteers. Perhaps you’re a volunteer yourself.
Marion County is full of volunteers.
They read to our youth.
They assist nonprofit agencies.
They serve on boards and committees.
And in 2013, they spent a day picking up nearly 10 tons of garbage that had been tossed out on public property around Marion County.
Proposed school calendar lives up to letter and spirit of law
West Virginia state law requires that students be in a classroom for 180 days.
Strong Fairmont General Hospital badly needed to serve our region
Mere minutes often matter when it comes to emergency health care.
That’s why we need a strong Fairmont General Hospital.
When patients need the services of health-care professionals, having family and friends close at hand is often essential, and their presence may even lead to a better outcome.
COLUMN: Fairmont General Hospital vital part of community
There’s nothing better than holding a newborn baby. It gives you a little feeling that not only is everything right in the world, but this perfect little human represents hope of a future where things will be better than they are today.
I had that blessed opportunity to hold that hopeful future in my arms last week when I visited my dear friend Jen and her newborn son Tristan at Fairmont General Hospital.
Putting a cost on safety issue has been culprit in 13 traffic deaths
Would you believe that an item costing just 57 cents — less than the price of a can of pop — is being cited as the culprit in 13 traffic deaths?
A simple 57-cent item.
That’s how much fixing the fatal ignition switches that General Motors installed in new automobiles would have cost, and 13 lives would probably have been saved.
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- Message to ‘buckle up and park the phone’ is saving lives