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Pumpkins wanted; vaccine boosters offered; a library author celebration and a talk on early childhood

NORWALK, Conn. — Some Norwalk announcements for you:

  • City issues Halloween safety tips
  • Compost your pumpkins
  • Health Department offers vaccine boosters
  • Library offers Indie Author Celebration
  • FCA schedules online discussion about education

 

‘Keep Halloween safety in mind this weekend’

Mayor Harry Rilling and Norwalk Fire Chief Gino Gatto advise parents and guardians to closely supervise children when participating in Halloween activities to protect them from unintentional injuries or worse, a news release said. If you plan on trick-or-treating, please follow COVID-19 public health precautions, and remember the CDC advice for a SAFE HALLOWEEN:

  • Swords, knives, and similar costume accessories should be short, soft, and flexible.
  • Avoid trick-or-treating alone. Walk in small groups or with a trusted adult.
  • Fasten reflective tape to costumes and bags to help drivers see you.
  • Examine all treats for choking hazards and tampering before eating them. Limit the amount of treats you eat.
  • Hold a flashlight while trick-or-treating to help you see and others see you.
  • Always test make-up in a small area first. Remove it before bedtime to prevent skin and eye irritation.
  • Look both ways before crossing the street. Use established crosswalks wherever possible.
  • Lower your risk for serious eye injury by not wearing decorative contact lenses.
  • Only walk on sidewalks or on the far edge of the road facing traffic to stay safe.
  • Wear well-fitting masks, costumes, and shoes to avoid blocked vision, trips, and falls.
  • Eat only factory-wrapped treats. Avoid eating homemade treats unless you know the cook well.
  • Enter homes only if you’re with a trusted adult, and if going indoors, wear a face covering. Otherwise, stay outside.
  • Never walk near lit candles or luminaries. Be sure to wear flame-resistant costumes.

 

Here are additional safety tips for the Halloween Weekend:

At Home
  • Be sure walking areas are well-lit and free of obstacles.
  • Items lit with candles, i.e., jack-o-lanterns and luminaries should be placed away from doorsteps, walkways, landings, and curtains. These items should be on sturdy tables and out of the reach of children and pets. Never leave them unattended.
On the Road
  • Drive slowly and safely while being observant of children at intersections, medians, and curbs.
  • Trick-or-treaters may move in unpredictable ways such as avoiding the use of sidewalks and running between parked cars.
  • Turn your headlights on earlier in the day to spot children from greater distances.
  • Slowly and carefully enter and exit driveways and alleys.
  • Reduce any distractions inside your car, such as talking on the phone or eating.
  • Discourage new, inexperienced drivers from driving on Halloween.
Halloween Decorations
  • Inspect decorations for loose connections, frayed or bare wires and broken or cracked sockets.
  • Hang lights using plastic hooks or clips to reduce the risk of electric shock and fire hazards.
  • NEVER nail or staple light strings.
  • Don’t overload extension cords. Use special, heavy duty extension cords for high wattage decorations such as fog machines and electrically powered inflatable decorations.
  • Look for the UL Mark on light strings, electrical decorations, and extension cords. The UL Mark means the product has been found free of foreseeable hazards and is safer for your family.
  • Keep candles away from items that easily catch fire, such as decorations, window treatments, and paper.

 

“Halloween night is a fun and exciting time for kids of all ages; yet each year numerous children are injured or killed on Halloween night,” the release said. “According to Safe Kids Worldwide, children are twice as likely to be hit by a vehicle and killed on Halloween, then on any other day of the year. Common injuries on Halloween are slips, trips, and falls which are four times as likely to occur on Halloween then on any other night of the year. In addition to injuries, Halloween- related deaths occur among children as well due to the lack of adult supervision.”

The City also warns that many trick-or-treaters aren’t eligible to get vaccinated yet. You should “take precautions like wearing a mask and washing your hands, and avoid activities that put you and the children around you at increased risk for COVID-19.”

 

Keep your pumpkins out of the waste stream

Pumpkin composting bins will be set up in Norwalk from Monday Nov. 1 until Tuesday Nov. 30 during regular hours at the Crescent Street transfer station and at the Rowayton Community Center, 33 Highland Ave., according to a press release. The guidelines are:

  • No decorated pumpkins allowed.   If pumpkins have paint, glitter, or other such adornments, put them in the garbage.
  • The pumpkins can only contain organic matter.  If pumpkins have candles, wax, plastics and such, put them in the garbage.
  • Put pumpkins for composting in the special bin marked “Pumpkins.”  Don’t put them in the food scraps bin.

More info is said to be available from Customer Service at (203) 854-3200, or at Norwalk, CT – Official Website | Official Website (norwalkct.org).

 

Get your booster

Moderna booster shots will be available by appointment at two clinics to be held by Norwalk Health Department according to a press release.

  • Thursday Nov. 4 from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. at the Maritime Aquarium, located at 10 North Water Street, Norwalk.
  • Friday Nov. 5 from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m. at the Norwalk City Hall Community Room, 125 East Avenue, Norwalk.

 

You are eligible for a Moderna booster shot if you received Pfizer or Moderna for your first vaccine series at least 6 months ago and are:

  • Age 65 or older
  • Age 18 or older, living in long-term care settings.
  • Age 18 or older with underlying health conditions.
  • Age 18 or older and work or live in high-risk settings.
  • You received the J&J vaccine at least 2 months ago and are age 18 or older.

 

Bring your COVID-19 vaccine card to your appointment.

You must have an appointment.  Schedule it at  vams.cdc.gov/If you need help making an appointment, or have questions,  call the Health Department vaccine information line at (203) 854-7985 or visit COVID-19 Vaccine Information | Norwalk, CT – Official Website (norwalkct.org).

If you’d prefer a Pfizer or J&J booster, find a provider at https://covidvaccinefinder.ct.gov/The U.S. Centers for Disease Control has approved “mix-and-match” booster dosing.

If you’re not yet vaccinated, get info at www.norwalkct.org/vaccine.

Norwalk Health Department Director Deanna D’Amore said, “We look forward to offering the Moderna booster shot to help provide additional protection against COVID-19 and its variants to those who are eligible. If you meet the eligibility criteria, please come for a booster shot to help keep yourself and community safe”

Library highlights local independent authors

Indie Author Celebration, a two-week program of writing, networking, panels, open mics, and other events spotlighting local independent authors will take place at Norwalk Public Library (NPL) Monday Nov. 1 through Monday Nov. 15, according to a press release.  Continuous book signings and chat sessions expanding upon the 5th annual Indie Author Day will be held in the library’s Studio One area.  Zoom panels and presentations focused on writing, publishing, and marketing are planned for 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. on Friday Nov. 12, Saturday, Nov. 13, and Monday Nov. 15.

Fifty Connecticut authors will participate, including Bette Bono, Laurel Peterson, Charles Belson, Lashaun Brown, Arjun Chaudhuri, Terence Hawkins, Randy Hobler, Sandra Long, Janet Luongo, Stayci Mallozzi, Simone Morris, Meira Rosenberg, Allia Zobel Nolan, Elizabeth Chatsworth, Lisa Cloherty and Sivan Hong.  An NPL- produced booklet showcasing Indie Author Day participants and their books will be available at the library and at sidewalk service.

To join the events, contact Cynde Bloom Lahey, Director of Library Information Services at [email protected]

Panel discussion on education

The future of education, employment, and family strengthening in Connecticut will be examined in a free virtual panel discussion and Q&A at noon on Tuesday Nov. 9, according to a press release from sponsor Family and Children’s Agency (FCA).  Norwalk Community College president/FCA board member Cheryl De Vonish will team with AdvanceCT CEO Peter Denious and Connecticut Office of Early Childhood commissioner Beth Bye to explore the State’s plans moving forward.  Job access, social services, and training will be on the agenda.   RSVP and get a link to the event at https://bit.ly/FCAWebinarFCA’s site is at  www.FamilyandChildrensAgency.org

 

 

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