Have a spooky but safe Halloween

Letters to the Editor
Published October 26, 2005

The Suncoast Safety Council would like to remind everyone that when purchasing costumes, masks, beards and wigs, you should look for the label "flame resistant." Although this label does not mean these items won't catch fire, it does indicate the items will resist burning and should extinguish quickly.

For greater visibility during dusk and darkness, decorate or trim costumes with reflective tape that will glow in the beam of a car's headlights.

To easily see and be seen, children should also carry flashlights.

Apply a natural mask of cosmetics rather than have a child wear a mask that might restrict breathing or obscure vision. If a mask is used, make sure it fits securely and has eyeholes large enough to allow full vision.

Young children should always be accompanied by an adult or older, responsible child. Children should be cautioned against running out from between parked cars, or across lawns where ornaments, furniture or clotheslines present dangers.

Children should only go to homes where the residents are known and have outside lights on as a sign of welcome.

Warn children not to eat any treats before an adult has carefully examined them for evidence of tampering.

With these safeguards in place, you can give your children a happy and safe Halloween.

-- Diane Roffey, executive director, Suncoast Safety Council Inc., Clearwater

School is not a babysitting service

Re: School schedule isn't family-friendly, Oct. 9.

I would like to let the writer know that any days off for the bus drivers are richly deserved. These drivers are up by 4 a.m. and on the road to pick up, for the most part, spoiled, ungrateful, mean, foul-mouthed kids. The public would be amazed to know the abuse these people endure on a daily basis.

The purpose of school is not to babysit your children. It is up to you to see that they have care on off-school days.

-- Sandra Simpson, Dunedin