Dear Readers: Here is a safety hint that many of you might not have thought about. Take a look at your WINDOW COVERINGS to see if there are corded pulls on drapes or blinds. Have some? Here is a hint just for you.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission ( wants you to know that October is National Window Covering Safety Month. Corded window coverings are one of the top-five hidden hazards in a home! Who knew? This is most important if you have babies or children in the house (or ones who visit), as they can accidentally get tangled in the cords.

There is a safe solution available from the Window Covering Safety Council. Just call 800-506-4636 to request a FREE repair kit. This kit will change the cords on blinds and coverings from the dangerous looped cord to a straight cord with a plastic stopper on the end of it. Before calling, count the number of windows in your home that need retrofitting, and follow these additional hints to keep children safe:

* Keep all window cords out of reach.

* Move furniture like cribs and beds away from windows that have cords, preferably to a wall with no window.

* Make all pull cords as short as possible.

* If possible, use only noncorded window coverings in a child’s bedroom.

For more information, visit for more information. -- Heloise

P.S.: Don’t take a chance, even if it’s one in a million, that harm might come to a little one!


Dear Heloise: My last birthday was my best ever! About a month before, I sent my children and their families an invitation to a party. On the invitation I included a “Birthday Wish List” that started with “Help With” and listed chores that I could use help with doing. All but one of 12 showed up, and most chores were done.

We then enjoyed a simple meal of sandwiches, mini tossed-salad bar, fresh fruit and cake. I’m sure there are others who would appreciate this kind of party. Not only did we work together, but we enjoyed each other’s company while doing it. -- Martha E., Geneva, N.Y.


Dear Readers: Looking for a place to keep metal hairpins, etc.? Use a magnetic knife rack in your bathroom. Odds and ends such as nail clippers, manicure scissors, tweezers and barrettes all are neatly hung up and no longer cluttering up your drawers! -- Heloise

P.S.: Try to pick one up, cheap, at a garage sale or resale shop.


Dear Heloise: I found a couple of bottles of men’s cologne the other day. Even though I have no man to give them to, I dabbed the scent on my wrist a little and found that I liked it for myself. Don’t be afraid to try a men’s cologne. Although nontraditional, it’s a nice change! -- K.M. in Alaska

Heloise’s column appears six days a week at Send a hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Tex. 78279-5000, or e-mail it to

, King Features Syndicate