Dear Readers: Remember the demonstrations in school: a raw egg cradled in an insulated foam head dropped onto the gym floor, teaching how FRAGILE OUR HEADS ARE? With summer on the way and kids spending more hours outdoors for a nice bike ride, here’s a little reminder about biking safety:
* Pick a helmet that fits you well, is smooth on the outside and has a sticker certifying that it meets the Consumer Product Safety Commission standard. Fitting the CPSC standard is a law — to be sure you’re safe.
* Always wear your helmet level, covering your forehead, with the straps fastened securely under your chin.
* The best helmet to buy isn’t always the most expensive! The Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute (www. bhsi.org) states that regardless of price, the protection from impact is equal across the board for CPSC-approved helmets. Prices can range from $10 to $200.
* Wearing a helmet doesn’t give you license to be reckless, but it will provide protection in case something does happen. Be sure to wear one EVERY TIME YOU RIDE.
Be safe, have fun and enjoy being outside. -- Heloise
Dear Heloise: All the media suggest changing batteries in our smoke alarm when the time changes. Since daylight saving time is now for nearly eight months, this leaves batteries in twice as long as “regular time.” I change ours Jan. 1 and July 4. This equals battery time of six months each, and they are very easy dates to remember. -- J.B. in Atlanta, Tex.
You can do this if you like, but according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, once a year is fine for changing the batteries in smoke and carbon-monoxide detectors. -- Heloise
BOOKS FOR KIDS
Dear Heloise: When my young grandchildren come to visit, I have an assortment of children’s books to read to them.
I take a snapshot of the child reading a favorite book. I get the photo printed and tape/glue it inside the book’s front cover. This gives “ownership” to the book and endears it to all for years to come. It’s fun to see how sweet they looked “back then.” -- Sherry M., Blue Springs, Miss.
COUPLE OF HINTS
Dear Heloise: I’d like to share a couple of my hints with you and your readers: Plastic bags from dry cleaners are great for covering seasonal centerpieces, floral centerpieces and door wreaths.
Plastic hangers with “clips” on each end are great for drying hand-washables. Roll an item in a bath towel to remove excess water, then hang it on the clips to complete drying. -- G.P., Middlebury, Conn.
HANDY PLASTIC BOX
Dear Heloise: I use a drawer-style plastic box (17-quart size) in my cupboard to hold all my mixing utensils and measuring cups, spatulas, potato masher, etc. I have limited drawer space, and all those utensils cluttered my counter space. It doubles as a shelf to put hot pads, recipe books or even towels on. This is my favorite hint, and I show everyone this idea! -- A Reader, Sanford, Mich.
Send a hint to