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Five Best Practices for Trick-or-Treat Night

Follow these five tips this Halloween, not just for safety, but also to maximize the collection of candy.

I don’t know who’s making these rules, but my girlfriend tells me that I’m “too old” to go trick-or-treating. It saddens me.

Even though I am forced to buy my own candy this Halloween, there will be plenty of kids who aren't "too old" running around town like maniacs -- and dressed like maniacs -- in order to grab up as much free candy as possible.

Here are some tips for a safe and effective trick-or-treat night!

Tip #1: Plan your route! For safety reasons, you should know where you’re going ahead of time, and only trick-or-treat in familiar neighborhoods. For selfish reasons, you should know where you’re going so that you can fill your bag faster. Don’t meander!

Tip #2: Try on your costume ahead of time! This sounds like common sense, but it’s important. Don’t just try it on; walk around in it for a while. Make sure it’s comfortable, and be sure it fits.

If you’re wearing a mask, make sure it doesn’t impede your vision. And if you’re wearing anything long, be sure it’s hemmed to an appropriate height -- you don’t want to trip while you’re running for those last few houses!

Tip #3: Bring a flashlight! Better yet, wear reflective tape as well. It gets dark this time of year between 6:30 and 7 p.m. There’s the obvious safety reasons for this, but more important than that, you don’t want mom and dad trying to get you home before trick-or-treat is over.

Tip #4: Only visit houses with a porch light on, and never go inside. Safety says, if there’s not a light on, skip the house, and only accept treats at the door. Never follow a stranger inside.

Practicality says, if you go inside a house, you’re wasting time that you could be spending at the neighbors' front doors.

Tip #5: Bring more than one bag! What happens if you fill your candy bag? You don’t want to lug around some heavy, overflowing thing.

And be practical about your candy-carrying choices. Plastic bags can tear easily, and solid pails are a pain to carry. My suggestion? Get a cloth shopping bag from a grocery store, one of the eco-friendly kind. Actually, get two!

Have a safe trick-or-treat, and happy Halloween!

Contributor’s note: for Nazareth and the townships of Upper Nazareth, Lower Nazareth and Bushkill will be held on October 31 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

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