While heading out to haunt the neighbors wearing scary and silly costumes holds huge appeal on Halloween, 9 out of 10 kids would probably name the candy-eating as their very favorite part.
You might think that no one in their right mind would try to hurt a child via their Halloween candy, but back in the ’80s, it happened a lot. Razor blades, needles, pins, rusty nails, thumb-tacks, and poisons were found buried in Halloween candy.
In my city, it was such a big problem that the hospitals would let parents bring their kids’ candy in to be x-rayed, to make sure nothing had been inserted into the candy. Shopping malls, churches, and other trust-worthy organizations began offering trick-or-treat events, where parents could be sure the candy that was given out would be safe.
Luckily, this is not much of a problem any longer, but still, before your little ghosts and goblins tear into those treat bags, keep these Halloween candy safety tips in mind.
Inspect Before Eating
Kids should not be permitted to dip into their candy stash while trick or treating. Instead, have Mom or Dad inspect the contents of the loot bags before giving candy consumption the go-ahead.
Of course, the kids are not always going to want to wait till they get home and their candy is inspected. You can always do a spot-check of a single piece or two while you are out. Or let them eat something that came from someone that you totally trust, like Grandma.
Caution: Unwrapped Candies
Don’t accept unwrapped or homemade treats from people you don’t know well. It’s okay if Aunt Betty baked 3 dozen pumpkin cupcakes, or if the kindly neighbor lady is passing out homemade cookies. But unwrapped treats that come from strangers should probably be avoided. Any treat that has been put in a zip-lock bag doesn’t count as wrapped!
Signs That Candy May Have Been Tampered With
When you get your kids home with their bags of candy, give everything a thorough inspection before permitting them to dig into their stash. If you see any of the following, toss it:
Unwrapped candies or other snacks
Candies with a missing or torn-open wrapper
Anything unusual about the candy, such as a wrapper that appears to have been re-glued, or any oddly shaped candies
The above irregularities may indeed be the result of a manufacturing or packaging error. Even so, it’s best to stick to safe snacking… especially on Halloween.
Keep these candy safety tips in mind, check your kids’ candy, and have a safe and fun Halloween!