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TIPS FOR A SAFE HALLOWEEN

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Halloween is an unusual event. It is not really a holiday, but rather an opportunity for mostly elementary-aged children to dress up in outlandish costumes and go door-to-door to collect a lot of candies and other treats from tolerant adults - just harmless fun.

Yet there are some rules that Utahns should follow to make sure that the evening remains both fun and harmless for the little trick-or-treat goblins. Here are just a few reminders:-Motorists in the darkening hours of Oct. 31 should exercise extreme care, particularly in residential neighborhoods, where little costumed figures will be scurrying from house to house.

-Start trick-or-treating early and be home before 9 p.m., preferably much earlier. Do not trick-or-treat in unfamiliar neighborhoods or enter strange homes or apartments. Skip any houses that do not have outside lights on.

-Wear light-colored costumes and carry a light. Don't carry pumpkins with lighted candles inside or any other open flames. Don't wear whiskers, masks, veils or costumes that obstruct vision. Use facial makeup instead. Lipstick, eyebrow pencil, grease paint or vegetable dye are suitable.

-Use sidewalks and cross streets only at intersections. Do not run between parked cars, across yards or through empty lots.

-Extremely young children should be accompanied by a parent or other adult and not merely be entrusted to slightly older siblings.

-Treats should be brought home and inspected by parents before children eat any of them.

-Limit the intake of candy. An orgy of eating sweets can result in sleeplessness and sickness.

A few common-sense rules will keep the Halloween experience a safe and pleasant one - all treats and no unhappy accidents.