Tonight’s Halloween. If you participate in the festivities, prepare for the usual sightings of costumed residents exploring their wild or darker sides, trick-or-treating and parties. If you don’t observe the festivities, Nielsen ratings suggest you’ll probably watch ABC’s “Modern Family.”


Tonight’s Halloween. If you participate in the festivities, prepare for the usual sightings of costumed residents exploring their wild or darker sides, trick-or-treating and parties. If you don’t observe the festivities, Nielsen ratings suggest you’ll probably watch ABC’s “Modern Family.”



But remember: safety first. For instance:



Wear a costume that allows clear vision.



Politics reigns among favored Halloween costumes, with Mitt Romney, Barack Obama and — only in 2012 — Big Bird masks reportedly locking the top three spots. Other favorites include poor parenting product/TLC trainwreck “Honey Boo Boo,” No. 5; gymnast McKayla Maroney, No. 6; and celebrity couple Kim Kardashian and Kanye West rounding out the top 10.



Whether you have fun with political catchphrases — “Binders Full of Women” reportedly is trending — piggyback pop culture “Gangam Style” or take the tried-and-true zombie makeover approach, wear something that allows you to see clearly today and tomorrow. That doesn’t just mean make mask eyeholes big enough; optometrists warn against wearing decorative contact lenses. Initially, such lenses may enhance your costume’s visual effect; however, risks include allergic reactions, infections and cuts on your eyeball, according to the Food and Drug Administration.



Plan routes carefully.



It’s easy to avoid trouble when you have a plan and stick to it. Map out neighborhood hot spots beforehand and commit to them; that means no shortcuts through fields, woods or back alleys.



Additionally, mark residences to avoid. See http://offender.fdle.state.fl.us/offender/ to search for neighborhood sex offenders.



Carry a flashlight and cell phone just in case something does go wrong.



Use the buddy system.



Don’t trick-or-treat alone. Your friend watches your back and ensures no ghouls or goblins — however figurative or literal — can harm you.



Group trick-or-treating aids accountability. An invitation inside for freshly baked cookies and screening a Halloween film on a 90-inch plasma may tempt, but remind your friend of Hansel and Gretel. The thought of cannibalism in the Crestview area may be extreme, but whether it’s a German fairy tale’s witch or a registered sex offender who treats Halloween like most people see Christmas, not everyone has your best interests at heart.



Grim possibilities aside, who wants to trick-or-treat alone? Bringing a friend helps when deciding what house to hit up next. Moreover, comparing lootafterward is half the fun!



Check candy before eating it.



Chuck unwrapped or partially unwrapped treats and inspect items for tampering.



Also, ration out the candy and question whether you want to eat it at all. One in three children ages 2-19 are overweight and obese, according to the American Heart Association, but everyone has the choice to prevent this from happening. Unfortunately, few make the healthy choice.



Take these tips to heart if you go into the night.



For those staying in, just ensure the remote control’s batteries are fully charged.



Thomas Boni is the Editor of the Crestview News Bulletin.
Email him at tboni@crestviewbulletin.com, tweet him @cnbeditor, or call 682-6524.

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