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Issue Home April 29, 2009 Site Home

100 Years Ago
From the Desk of the D.A.
The Healthy Geezer
Library Chitchat
Veterans’ Corner
What’s Bugging You?
Food For Thought
Earth Talk
Barnes-Kasson Corner

100 Years Ago

HALLSTEAD: Not to be outdone by other cities, the enterprising sportsmen, headed by John Clune, proprietor of the Clune House, have arranged for a Marathon race on May 15. The runners will start from Hallstead and go up that side of the river to Susquehanna, where they cross over and return via Great Bend, making a distance of nearly 20 miles. Valuable prizes will be awarded the winners and already there is much interest being shown and the list of contestants promises to be large, composed mainly of some of the amateur runners of this section of the State and lower New York.

DIMOCK:President Taft has given just recognition to the judicial ability of George W. Woodruff, who during Roosevelt’s administration was attached to the Department of the Interior, by appointing him United States District Judge of Hawaii. Mr. Woodruff is a native of Dimock, attended the schools of this vicinity in boyhood and in 1889 finished his studies at Yale, taking up the practice of law in Philadelphia. His personality, fine physique and love of outdoor sports made him a boon companion of the strenuous Roosevelt during his administration. As assistant attorney general of the Department of the Interior he achieved considerable prominence and the appointment comes as recognition of work well done.

SUSQUEHANNA: The working hours at the Susquehanna Erie shops have increased from 40 to 45 hours a week. The strong probability is that the company will succeed in securing permission to make its proposed $30,000,000 loan on bonds, a part of which will be expended in physical improvements of its road.

FOREST CITY: The Forest City stone quarry will resume operations next month with an increased force of men. It is said that electric drills will be used. The work will be pushed vigorously and the industry made an important one to Forest City. ALSO “Kid” Sharonis is in training for a go with a Honesdale scrapper.

MONTROSE: H. D. Titman and L. R. Titsworth have purchased the old skating rink property for $1800. The building will be repaired, painted and the interior walls kalsomined, which will make a fine hall and will be used for a roller skating rink and other purposes, such as dances. There is no doubt of these energetic young men making this a profitable business, as well an amusement that will be beneficial and enjoyed by the young people of Montrose.

SOUTH GIBSON: Thomas J. Manzer died on April 10, 1909 at age 82 years and 16 days. He was born March 26, 1827 at Fly Creek, Otsego County, NY, and was one of ten children of the Rev. Lawrence Manzer, a Baptist minister. He was a man of good judgment and was often sought for counsel in county matters by his fellow citizens. He was born with and always possessed the noted characteristic of the Manzer family, namely, industry.

SHANNON HILL, AUBURN TWP.: Mrs. Ettaline Lott, who has been spending some time with her son, James Lott, has left for California, where she will spend about a year with her brothers, John and Gilbert Overfield, and her niece, Mrs. Minnie Emory.

BRACKNEY: A very pretty wedding took place in St. Augustine’s church, last Wednesday afternoon, when Miss Elizabeth Giblin became the bride of Edward Cahill. Miss Katherine Giblin, cousin of the bride, acted as bridesmaid and Matthew Cahill, brother of the groom, as best man. The bride was handsomely attired in drab silk with lace trimmings and wore a black picture hat and carried a bouquet of bride’s roses. The groom wore the conventional black. The bride is the only daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Patrick Giblin of Quaker Lake. The groom has for several years held a responsible position with the Lackawanna Railroad. The bride was the recipient of many beautiful presents, besides a large sum of money. Mr. and Mrs. Cahill will reside in Binghamton.

HOP BOTTOM: The first annual alumni banquet of Hopbottom High School, given in Masonic hall, April 23, was one of the pleasantest social events which has occurred in a long time. About 70 guests were present and when they were ushered into the tastefully decorated hall and served with the elegant repast furnished by the ladies of the Universalist Church, there was little left to be desired except the toasts, which were served as later refreshment in an equally pleasing style. The universal expression of those present was that the entire program was most highly successful.

ELKDALE: Howard Wells has been confined to the house with an attack of mumps.

GELATT: The Grange decided to erect a building 30 x 50 ft, with two stories & basement, on ground donated by W. Manzer, at the forks of the road near George Bowells’.

FRANKLIN FORKS: Great excitement was caused on Monday afternoon when the boiler in Carroll R. Tiffany’s mill exploded. Weighing over a ton, it shot through the roof of the mill and passed over the Stockholm residence, striking the roof of Smith’s store 200 feet away, and did not stop until it landed on the storeroom floor, causing considerable damage by tearing out partitions and everything in its path. It was fortunate for Mr. Tiffany that it happened just when it did, as in an instant more he would have returned to the boiler room and no doubt been killed instantly by the terrific impact from the explosion. Mr. Tiffany does a general custom sawing trade and manufactures horticultural implements on quite an extensive scale.

GREAT BEND: While running at the rate of 50 miles an hour, Erie train No. 3 ran into a heavily loaded wagon just below the Great Bend station, Thursday night. The driver was crossing the tracks when his wagon became stalled. Knowing that train 3, the fast New York-Chicago express was soon due, the driver tried to urge his horses across the tracks, but they could not pull the heavy load. He unhitched the team, led them to a place of safety and started up the track to flag the train, but before he had gone very far the fast express came around the curve. The engine hit the wagon squarely, completely demolishing it. The train was stopped and parts of the wagon were removed from the engine. Fortunately no one was near the wagon at the time of the accident.

UNIONDALE: The sugar social was well attended at Geo. Bayless’. After Claud Lockwood played one game of snap and kiss ‘em he said that the sugar tasted a lemon—no more sugar for Claud. AND There is to be a box social in Ira Churchill’s Hall, Friday evening. Webb Sherwood says that he will get a certain lady’s lunch if it costs a car of corn. The lady has rosy cheeks and very handsome.

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From the Desk of the D.A.
By District Attorney Jason J. Legg

Mildred Legg was born in 1916, which places her squarely in the generation that Tom Brokaw has termed the Greatest Generation. Brokaw conferred this title as a result of the collective sacrifice, hard work, dedication, and values of this entire generation. Brokaw contends that this generation was not simply the greatest in American history, but the greatest generation that any society ever produced. While some have been critical of Brokaw’s assertions, I agree and believe that my grandmother’s generation is a national treasure that we are losing too quickly at a time when that generation’s wisdom, values and lessons are needed more than ever in this country.

My grandmother died on April 17, 2009 at the age of 92. Her life was not an easy journey. As a teenager, she married a coalminer and had her first child in the midst of the Great Depression. Neither she nor my grandfather had any diplomas, degrees, or formal educational training. Every day was a battle and there was no time or money for school. Poverty became her teacher – and it taught her more than an Ivy League education could ever have hoped to impart. The lessons were hard and swift – and the subject was survival. As with so many in her generation, my grandmother not only survived, but she thrived with the determination of a hard-nosed fighter.

Around 1950, she and my grandfather left the anthracite behind and moved to Susquehanna County. They talked a local farmer into selling them a small plot of land in Choconut and built their home there. How did they build that home? A Coal Company was getting rid of some company housing in Lackawanna County, and they purchased a home from the Coal Company. They then dismantled the old home board by board, nail by nail, and transported the materials to Susquehanna County, where the home was painstakingly reassembled. Even though this “new” construction occurred in 1950s, my grandparents spent many years without running water or indoor plumbing in their new home, and my grandmother walked to the creek with buckets to get water. At the same time, she had given birth to her youngest child, my father, and she was caring for the baby as well. As I said, my grandmother’s life was a hard one. My grandmother died in the very same home she and my grandfather hand-built over fifty years earlier.

She made a living sewing, cleaning and providing childcare for other people with the financial means to afford such services. To her employers, she was more than a servant, maid or nanny – she became a loved and cherished family member. The children she cared for remembered and loved her long after they had grown – and several of them made the trip to Montrose for her funeral. They were as much a part of her family as any of her children, grandchildren or great-grandchildren.

She never had a driver’s license. She needed to rely upon my grandfather or other people to get her to and from work and other destinations. No diplomas, no driver’s license, nothing but sheer determination, hard work and an iron will to succeed for her family. Her story is our collective history – the American dream to work hard so that your children could have better life than you did. And, in this task, she was tremendously successful.

This is just a snapshot of the difficult life of a member of an extraordinary generation. I could tell so many stories about her, recount lessons taught, discipline received, and wisdom imparted. Now that I have a child of my own, I wonder whether I will have the success that my grandmother had in teaching her values to her children and grandchildren. As this Greatest Generation slowly passes, I fear that Americans have no idea just how much they are losing. When my grandmother passed, my family lost a treasured and cherished matriarch. With my grandmother’s death, this Nation lost another small piece of a national treasure that is represented by the greatness of her generation’s wisdom, values and work ethic.

There are too many things to say, too many memories to share, and too many emotions to cover for this short column. Perhaps there will be another time for it. But there is one small piece of advice that I try to remember everyday. When my wife and I were first married, my grandmother used to give us a piece of advice as we were leaving her home after a visit. She would simply say: “Be good to one another.” In the end, Gram understood life better than anyone I have ever met – and I will miss her wisdom and wit. Goodbye, Gram.

Please submit any questions, concerns, or comments to Susquehanna County District Attorney’s Office, P.O. Box 218, Montrose, Pennsylvania 18801 or at our website or discuss this and all articles at

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The Healthy Geezer
By Fred Cicetti

Q. Do wrinkle creams work?

The American Academy of Dermatology says that over-the-counter wrinkle creams do little or nothing to reverse wrinkles.

However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved prescription tretinoin cream to treat aging skin. In addition, the FDA has also approved lasers for skin treatment.

Tretinoin cream, which is a vitamin A derivative, is sold under the brand names Altinac, Atralin, Avita, Renova, Retin A Micro Gel, Retin-A and Tretin-X.

Tretinoin cream is approved for reducing the appearance of fine wrinkles, roughness and dark spots. It will not eliminate wrinkles. It will not restore skin.

Lasers remove layers of skin. Laser therapy is an outpatient treatment requiring anesthesia.

The FDA is studying the safety of acids known as skin peelers. The agency ordered manufacturers of products containing alpha hydroxy acids to include a label warning that the acids may increase sunburn risk.

As your skin ages, it becomes thinner and can take longer to heal when injured. Sunlight is a major cause of skin aging. Nothing can completely undo sun damage. However, you will still benefit from beginning sun protection.

Dermatologists use the term photoaging to describe aging caused by sun exposure. With repeated exposure to the sun, the skin loses the ability to repair itself, and the damage accumulates. People with fair skin and a history of sun exposure develop more signs of photoaging than those with dark skin.

Here are some tips to care for your aging skin:

Protect your skin and prevent future wrinkles by limiting the time you spend in the sun. Wear protective clothing such as wide-brim hats and long-sleeve shirts. Use sunscreen when outdoors, even in winter.

Use a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15. Look for products with label that say they are water resistant and protect against both types of harmful sun rays — UVA and UVB.

Don’t use sunlamps and tanning beds.

Don't smoke. People who smoke tend to have more wrinkles than nonsmokers of the same age, complexion, and history of sun exposure. Cigarette smoking causes biochemical changes in our bodies that accelerate aging. It also has been shown that people who smoke for many years tend to develop an unhealthy yellowish hue to their complexion.

One study showed that facial wrinkling, while not yet visible, can be seen under a microscope in smokers as young as 20. These signs can be greatly diminished, and in some cases avoided, by giving up smoking. Even people who have smoked for many years, or smoked heavily at a younger age, show less facial wrinkling and improved skin tone when they quit smoking.

Use moisturizers. Though moisturizers can't prevent wrinkles, they can temporarily mask tiny lines and creases.

If you have a question, please write to

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Library Chitchat
By Flo Whittaker

At this time of year at the Susquehanna County Library, we are gearing up for a summer filed with special events and fund-raisers.

There is no fairy godmother out there to provide us with the funds that we need to continue our service to the County. We must raise these funds. Our first event is the annual Library Auction, rescheduled for May 9 at the VFW in Montrose. Community residents and businesses have donated items for this auction. The entrance ticket includes a turkey dinner and the opportunity to purchase something just perfect for you. Proceeds from the auction help to meet the Library’s annual operating expenses.

In June, there will be a party at the Forest Lake Fireman’s Field for those who have purchased tickets for our first Library Lottery Raffle. This is a unique opportunity to aid the Library Building Fund and to possibly win some money to help you. Only 2,000 tickets will be sold at $100 a ticket, but more than $148,000 in prizes will be given away, if all the tickets are sold. For more information, call (570) 278-1881.

2009 is a signature year for the Library’s annual Blueberry Festival - our 30th year. On August 7 and 8, the Festival will occupy the Green in Montrose, featuring everything Blueberry and thousands of used books for sale. Proceeds from the Blueberry Festival are vital to meet the Library’s annual expenses.

Please help Susquehanna County Library to continue to be your resource for lifetime learning.

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Veterans’ Corner

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What’s Bugging You?
By Stuart W. Slocum

Deathwatch Beetles: Time Is Ticking Away

Last week I wrote about powderpost beetles, the small, seldom-seen insects which tunnel throughout beams and other wooden items. They are so named because of the very fine, powdery sawdust that they create while tunneling through posts and other wooden structures. I further discussed the natural history of true powderpost beetles that belong to the family Lyctidae. In addition to the Lyctids, beetles in the families Anobiidae and Bostrichidae also attack wood, creating similar small tunnels and exit holes with the characteristic frass powder.

The Anobiids, also known as “deathwatch beetles” are somewhat more common than the other powderpost beetles. There are over 300 species of Anobiid beetles found in the United States. Their “deathwatch” nickname is derived from their mating call, which is an eerie tapping sound created by their jaws hitting the wooden walls of their tunnels. In medieval Europe, the superstition arose that an ailing person would soon die when that sound was heard. The silent vigil kept by a family sitting around the bedside of an ailing relative probably created the only scenario where the insect’s ongoing nocturnal activity could be heard and noticed.

Pictured (l-r) are the Anobiid adult and larva.

Adult deathwatch beetles range from one thirty-secondths to three-eighths inches in length. Their coloration varies from reddish brown to black, sometimes covered with patches of pale hair. Their bodies are shorter and wider than that of the Lyctid beetles. Unlike the Lyctids, the heads of Anobiids are not visible when viewed from above. Anobiid larvae are white, “C”-shaped grubs with yellowish-brown heads and rows of small spines down their backs. Up to about one-half inches in length, the larvae also have black mandibles. The females deposit their 20 to 60 eggs in the cracks, crevices and holes of wood, often in the same piece from which they have hatched. Upon hatching, the larvae bore across the wood grain for a short distance, whereupon they turn and follow the grain, leaving their frass in the tunnel behind them. As they molt and grow larger, the tunnel becomes wider. When the adults emerge from the pupae, they bore straight to the outside of the wood, leaving the characteristic pinholes. This life cycle typically takes from 1 to 3 years, depending on conditions. The exit holes are about one-sixth inches in diameter, slightly larger, but similar to those of the Lyctid beetles. Other much smaller holes, present in the same wood, are the exit holes of tiny, parasitic wasps that infect the beetles.

In softwoods (conifers), the Anobiids produce a coarse, powdery frass that feels gritty because it contains small excrement pellets. In hardwoods, the frass does not have a gritty texture. Although they prefer the sapwood of softwoods, Anobiids will attack any type of wood that has a moisture content between 13% and 30%. Therefore, infestations often begin in moist, poorly ventilated areas such as basements, crawlspaces, garages and sheds. Maple, beech, poplar and pine are particularly susceptible to Anobiid attack. Unlike the other powderpost beetles, Anobiids can digest wood cellulose. This is due to the fact that their systems contain digestive enzymes and yeasts capable of breaking down the cells.

Another family, Bostrichidae, contains the “false powderpost” beetles. These adult beetles are dark brown or black, with reddish mouthparts, legs and antennae. Most species are about one-quarter inches in length. Bostrichids have a humpbacked appearance and short antennae. Their larvae are also white, “C-shaped” grubs, but lack body spines. The females bore a tunnel in wood or other materials, including soft metals, to deposit their eggs. They are sometimes given the nickname of “leadcable borers”, due to the habit of one species, which actually bores into the metal cable covering of overhead telephone wires. Most species however, are content to infest floors, furniture, paneling and other wooden items found in homes. They prefer seasoned softwoods and hardwoods, with certain species prone to infesting bamboo products. Unlike the other powderpost beetles, the Bostrichids pack their frass in the tunnels so tightly that it does not fall out of their exit holes.

Pictured (l-r) are the Bostrichid adult and larva.

While they are seldom seen, most of us are familiar with the tiny holes and powdery mess created by these wood-boring menaces. When left uncontrolled in the wrong places, these powderpost beetles can cause costly damages and create safety hazards. Next time I will discuss ways to determine if the insects are currently active, and steps that can be taken to control or remove these wood-devouring pests. Questions, comments and suggestions regarding this article, identifications or any other insect-related matters are welcome. Please email them to

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Food For Thought
By Lauretta L. Clowes DC

No Food For Thought This Week

From the Editors of E/The Environmental Magazine

Dear EarthTalk: Is it true that some baby bottles contain chemicals that can cause health problems for babies? If so, how can I find alternatives that are safer?

Amy Gorman, Berkeley, CA

No links connecting specific human illnesses to chemicals oozing out of baby bottles have been proven definitively. Nonetheless, many parents are heeding the call of scientists to switch to products with less risk. A 2008 report by American and Canadian environmental researchers entitled “Baby’s Toxic Bottle” found that plastic polycarbonate baby bottles leach dangerous levels of Bisphenol-A (BPA), a synthetic chemical that mimics natural hormones and can send bodily processes into disarray, when heated.

All six of the leading brands of baby bottles tested – Avent, Disney/The First Years, Dr. Brown’s, Evenflo, Gerber and Playtex – leaked what researchers considered dangerous amounts of BPA. The report calls on major retailers selling these bottles – including Toys “R” Us, Babies “R” Us, CVS, Target, Walgreen’s and Wal-Mart – to switch to safer products.

According to the report, BPA is a “developmental, neural and reproductive toxicant that mimics estrogen and can interfere with healthy growth and body function.” Researchers cite numerous animal studies demonstrating that the chemical can damage reproductive, neurological and immune systems during critical stages of development. It has also been linked to breast cancer and to the early onset of puberty.

So what’s a concerned parent to do? Glass bottles are a tried-and-true chemical-free solution, and they are widely available, though very breakable. To the rescue are several companies making BPA-free plastic bottles (out of either PES/polyamide or polypropylene instead of polycarbonate). Some of the leaders are BornFree, thinkbaby, Green to Grow, Nuby, Momo Baby, Mother’s Milkmate and Medela’s. These brands are available at natural food stores, directly from manufacturers, or from online vendors.

Most of the major brands selling BPA-containing bottles are now also offering or planning to offer BPA-free versions of their products. Consumers should read labels and packaging carefully to make sure that any product they are considering buying says unequivocally that it does not contain the chemical.

Unfortunately, switching to a BPA-free bottle is no guarantee the chemical won’t make its way into your baby’s bloodstream anyway. BPA is one of the 50 most-produced chemicals in the world. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), it is used in everything from plastic water jugs labeled #7 to plastic take-out containers, baby bottles and canned food liners. It is so omnipresent that the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) has found that 95 percent of Americans have the chemical in their urine.

Also, nursing mothers – especially those who haven’t discarded their old BPA-containing Nalgene water bottles – may be passing the chemical along through their breast milk. And if that weren’t enough, BPA is also used in the lining of many metal liquid baby formula cans. The nonprofit Environmental Working Group (EWG) has posted email links to the consumer affairs offices of the major formula manufacturers so concerned parents can ask them to remove BPA from their product offerings and packaging.

CONTACTS: Baby’s Toxic Bottle Report,; NRDC,; CDC,; EWG,

Dear EarthTalk: How much “old growth” forest is left in the United States and is it all protected from logging at this point?         

John Foye, via e-mail

As crazy as it sounds, no one really knows how much old growth is left in America’s forested regions, mainly because various agencies and scientists have different ideas about how to define the term. Generally speaking, “old growth” refers to forests containing trees often hundreds, sometimes thousands, of years old. But even when there is agreement on a specific definition, differences in the methods used to inventory remaining stands of old growth forest can produce major discrepancies. Or so complains the National Commission on Science for Sustainable Forestry (NCSSF) in its recent report, “Beyond Old Growth: Older Forests in a Changing World.”

In 1991, for example, the U.S. Forest Service and the nonprofit Wilderness Society each released its own inventory of old-growth forests in the Pacific Northwest and northern California. They both used the Forest Service’s definition based on the number, age and density of large trees per acre, the characteristics of the forest canopy, the number of dead standing trees and fallen logs and other criteria. However, because each agency used different remote sensing techniques to glean data, the Forest Service came up with 4.3 million acres of old-growth and the Wilderness Society found only two million acres.

The NCSSF also studied the data, and they concluded that 3.5 million acres (or six percent) of the region’s 56.8 million acres of forest qualified as old growth – that is, largely trees over 30 inches in diameter with complex forest canopies. By broadening the definition to include older forest with medium-diameter trees and both simple and complex canopies, NCSSF said their figure would go up substantially.

In other parts of the country, less than one percent of Northeast forest is old growth, though mature forests that will become old growth in a few decades are more abundant. The Southeast has even less acreage – a 1993 inventory found about 425 old growth sites across the region, equaling only a half a percent of total forest area. The Southwest has only a few scattered pockets of old-growth (mostly Ponderosa Pine), but for the most part is not known for its age-old trees. Old-growth is even scarcer in the Great Lakes.

It is hard to say whether the remaining pockets of scattered old-growth in areas besides the Pacific Northwest will remain protected, but environmentalists are working hard to save what they can in northern California, Oregon and Washington. The outgoing Bush administration recently announced plans to increase logging across Oregon’s remaining old-growth reserves by some 700 percent, in effect overturning the landmark Northwest Forest Plan of 1994 that set aside most of the region’s remaining old growth as habitat for the endangered spotted owl.

Protecting remaining old-growth is important for many reasons. “These areas provide some of the cleanest drinking water in the world, critical salmon and wildlife habitat, world-class recreational opportunities and critical carbon storage in our fight against global warming,” says Jonathan Jelen of the nonprofit Oregon Wild, adding that as much as 20 percent of the emissions related to global warming can be attributed to deforestation and poor forest management. “A growing body of evidence is showing the critical role that forests – and old-growth forests in particular – can play in mitigating climate change.”

CONTACTS: NCSSF,; Oregon Wild,

GOT AN ENVIRONMENTAL QUESTION? Send it to: EarthTalk, c/o E/The Environmental Magazine, P.O. Box 5098, Westport, CT 06881; submit it at: or e-mail: Read past columns at:

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Barnes-Kasson Corner
By Cara Sepcoskiw

Playground Safety Week April 26 - May 2

Barnes-Kasson Hospital is observing National Playground SafetyWeek, April 26 through May 2.

Now that Spring is officially here, many parents will be planning a Trip the playground. While the risks and dangers associated with swimming or riding a bike might seem more obvious, Safe Kids USA reminds parents to not let their guard down when their kids are playing on the playground. Keeping an eye out on children, and taking safety precautions are necessary to ensure that your child remains healthy and safe.

From 1990 to 2000, over 147 children under the age of 14 have died from playground injuries. In 2004, 206,900 children under 14 were admitted to the hospital from playground injuries. Out of these, 75% of injuries and 1/3 of all deaths, were on public playgrounds.

One necessary percussion is to make sure playground equipment is inspected frequently and kept in good repair. Parents are advised to always keep an emergency kit on hand. Items such as band-aids, antibiotic ointment, hand sanitizer and baby wipes can come in handy in case of injury.

One study has shown, that when children are in age segregated playgrounds, the amount of injury decreases in all age groups. This prevents a small four year old girl from being trampled by a twelve year old boy. This also prevents the twelve year old from falling over the small toddler and harming himself.

The most important thing you can do as a parent is to watch your child closely when in any public place. Close supervision is proven to prevent injuries and casualties. Remember, nothing is more important than your child’s safety.

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