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October 31st, 2012

This Week in Orange County 10-31-12

Orange County Executive Edward Diana
With Halloween upon us, Dr. Jean Hudson, Orange County Health Commissioner, and I would like to share some simple, but very important tips to keep your little ghouls and goblins safe and sound while they enjoy all the fun that comes with the celebration.

When buying or making costumes, increase your child’s visibility by selecting a light-colored costume or add glow-in-the-dark tape to the front and back of the costume. Make sure the costume is labeled “flame-retardant.” Don’t allow wigs and beards to cover your child’s eyes, nose, or mouth, and choose non-toxic face paint or make-up as an alternative to masks. Stay away from high-heeled and oversized shoes, as well as long or baggy skirts and pants, to prevent tripping and falling.

Young children should always be accompanied on their trick-or-treating rounds. Be sure they know their address, home phone number, and parent or supervising adult’s cell phone number in case they get separated.

Older kids trick-or-treating on their own should plan their route and their return home time with parents. They should bring a cell phone along, if possible, trick-or-treat in groups, and stick to sidewalks and well lit streets and carry flashlights. They should never enter a stranger’s home or car.

 When the kids arrive home with all their loot, be sure to inspect all treats to ensure they’re safely sealed and have no signs of tampering. Toss out loose and unwrapped treats and any homemade food items, unless they’ve been made by someone you trust. To avoid upset stomachs and too much sugar, don’t let children store candy in their bedrooms, and encourage them to make their candy last longer by eating only a treat or two a day, instead of fistfuls at a time. Consider doing other parents a favor by offering trick-or-treaters a candy alternative, such as stickers or crayons.

Last Halloween, Orange County children wore winter coats and climbed over snow banks for trick-or-treating, following a very unseasonable autumn snow storm that dumped a foot of snow on our region, snapped trees, and knocked out power for days for many residents. This year, as kids and families once again make preparations for Halloween celebrations, we find our Orange County Emergency Management staff following the track of Hurricane Sandy. Coincidentally, this week is also New York State’s Winter Weather Awareness week.

For useful information about how to prepare yourself and your home for hurricanes and winter storms, visit the County website at Regular storm updates and local information will also be available at the County’s Emergency Management Facebook page. Be sure to “Like” OrangeCounty  EmergencyManagement. Taking time, ahead of time, to get preparations in order and keeping yourself informed are critical to your safety and well-being.

Until next week, I wish you good health and happiness and hope for drier weather.

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