Halloween Safety

The American Red Cross is issuing its annual list of safety tips to keep children safe on Halloween Night:

* Wear light-colored or reflective-type clothing to be more visible.

* Use face paint, not masks that cover the eyes.

* Cross the street only at corners and never hide or cross the street between parked cars.

* Carry a flashlight to light your way.

* Visit only homes with the porch light on.

* Keep away from open fires and candles. (Costumes can be extremely flammable.)


A Sticky Business

Quick! What do the words bogus, pane, error, and strip have in common? They all refer to one of the fastest-growing hobbies among preteens: stamp collecting. To celebrate National Stamp Collecting Month in October, why not take advantage of the Postal Service's free stamp-collecting program, Stampers? Your child will receive free mailings that include newsletters, posters, and tips on how to collect stamps. To become a member, call toll-free: 1-888-STAMP-FUN (1-888-782-6738). And kids: To show off before your package arrives, here are some words to add to your vocabulary: "Bogus" is a stamp created for collectors only; "pane" is a complete sheet of stamps as it is sold by the post office; "error" is a stamp issued with a design or manufacturing mistake; and "strip" is a row of three or more attached stamps.


Can You Befriend a Young Mother?

Children's Home Society of Minnesota is seeking women who care about young single mothers to act as befrienders. Through the Befrienders program, young mothers with little support are matched with women who can offer them affirmation, mentorship and friendship. Volunteers who are single-parents themselves, or who became mothers at an early age, are particularly effective in this program. Befrienders receive eighteen hours of training and must commit to one year with the program. Support is provided through group and individual consultation. Training begins October 8, 1999. For an application and interview, please call CHS Volunteer Services at (651) 646-7771.


Too Sick for School? Try the Jump Test

It's Monday morning and, guess what? Your child says he's too sick to go to school. Do you keep him home? Janet Squires, M.D., a pediatrician at Children's Medical Center of Dallas, suggests you try the jump test. "If your child can jump, the problem is probably not in the stomach, but in the anxiety of an upcoming test or book report," she says. "Your child should be okay to go to school, even if he may not want to. But if your child complains of persistent pain, accompanied by diarrhea, vomiting, or fever, keep him home and consult your healthcare provider."


What's the Score in Minnesota?

A new booklet written by the Melpomene Institute helps parents, coaches and school districts determine if their school is in compliance with Title IX, the law that guarantees gender equity in the classroom and playing field. The booklet includes a checklist and an overview of how far women's sports have come and how far we still need to go to reach complete equality. The booklet costs two dollars and can be obtained by calling Melpomene at (651) 642-1951 or by visiting their Web site: www.melpomene.org.


Lead Hazard Help

The City of Minneapolis Lead Hazard Control program is designed to keep families living in older homes or multifamily dwellings safe from lead and other environmental hazards. MLHC offers free window replacement in older homes where lead-poisoning has been discovered, assists families and children with high blood-lead levels, and performs free Healthy Housing inspections related to mold, mildew, pests, and indoor air quality. For a free paint-testing kit, free soil kit, or remodeling and renovation information, please call them at (612) 673-3535.


Dads at Home Seeks Members

Minnesota Dads at Home, Inc., offers fathers who take care of their children during the day an opportunity for interaction and activities with other like-minded fathers. Minnesota Dads at Home members include men who do not work outside of the home, as well as those running home-based businesses, attending college or graduate school, or working second or third shifts. "This group was developed by dads who wanted to overcome that sense of isolation," explains president Mark Abraham. "Some dads have been home for years without ever knowing another dad who stayed home." The group offers weekly playgroups, a monthly Dads Night Out, sports activities, a monthly newsletter, and more. For more information, call Mark Abraham at (651) 638-9092 or send e-mail to him at: [email protected] You can also visit the the Minnesota Dads At Home Web site, www.slowlane.com/mdah/.

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