Dear Readers: Today’s Sound Off is about tax deductions.

“Dear Heloise: Why are there tax deductions for children? I love kids, but I find it blatantly unfair that people with children get tax deductions for having them, and child care tax credits, too. I realize that at one point it was designed to help parents pay for the costs of raising a child, but in an overcrowded world, should we really be encouraging people to have more than one child? Cutting out the deductions for children would give the government more money to work with and create a much more impartial tax system.”

Roger K., Falmouth, Mass.

Dear Readers: Here are some uses for leftover bread:

● Cube bread and bake for inexpensive croutons.

● Make into breadsticks by cutting into strips, then brushing with butter or olive oil and sprinkling with seasonings. Bake until crispy.

● Cube bread into very small pieces, and use as a topping for casseroles.

Dear Heloise: I'm getting ready to do my spring-cleaning, but my biggest problem involves my windows. I always make a streaky mess out of them. Do you have any hints for clean and clear windows?

Julia Y., Ellicott City, Md.

Julia Y.: This is an easy one. Mix 1 cup of white vinegar with ½ gallon of water, then put the solution in a clean spray bottle. Spray the window liberally. Dry with crumpled newspaper. If you like this easy and inexpensive solution, you’ll enjoy my six-page vinegar pamphlet that includes dozens of hints, from cleaning and deodorizing things like aluminum pots to removing pesticides from veggies. To receive a copy, order it at Heloise.com, or send $5, along with a stamped (70 cents), self-addressed, long envelope, to: Heloise/Vinegar, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001. FYI: Though there are many types of vinegar, including balsamic, wine, malt and apple cider, white vinegar is the cheapest and the best type used for cleaning.

Dear Heloise: When I recently went into the hospital, friends would call and ask what I needed. I said I'd love any travel brochures they could lay their hands on. This kept my mind off my impending surgery and helped me plan for my next trip. I liked it better than reading magazines that feature movie stars.

Patricia D., Great Falls, Mont.

Patricia D.: What a great idea! You can lie back and visualize yourself on your next adventure. It helps you make plans and takes you out of the hospital atmosphere.

Dear Heloise: Last night, while walking my dog in our neighborhood, a car came out of nowhere and nearly hit me. The fault, however, was mine. I should have had reflective gear on myself and a flashing light on my dog. I will now, but it was a close call. Please tell your readers that many accidents can be avoided if people make themselves more visible when they're outside at night.

Lewis G., Fresno, Calif.

Heloise’s column appears six days a week at washingtonpost.com/advice. Send a hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000, or email it to Heloise@Heloise.com.

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