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Healthy Halloween Hints

To protect your little trick-or-treater:

Dress her up for safety. If you buy a costume, choose one labeled "flame resistant" to protect against accidents  -- such as a close encounter with a jack-o'-lantern candle. Masks can make it hard for kids to see, so cut out large eyeholes or opt for face paint instead.

Make sure she has identification. Pin a piece of paper with your child's name, address, and phone number to the inside of her costume. If you get separated, another adult will be able to help her find you.

Keep her company. Don't let a child under 12 head out alone. Aim for a ratio of one adult to every two trick-or-treaters.

Light the way. Carry a flashlight, and stick reflective tape on costumes and goody bags.

Wait until after rush hour. There will be less traffic and more people at home. But try to wrap up your excursion before 8 P.M.

Pretreat them. Bring a pocketful of sweets from home for impatient trick- or-treaters to nibble on instead of on Halloween bounty. The candy that kids receive from others needs to be checked for signs of tampering: unsealed packages or puncture holes.