Have a Safe Halloween: Don’t Forget to Check Your Candy

trick or treating I can still remember back when I was of trick-or-treating age–I would come home from school, immediately put on my Halloween costume and then pace the house badgering my parents about if it was time to go trick-or-treating yet. After an hour or two and the sun started to go down, it would be time and I would have a blast going from house to house, collecting candy and growing more and more anxious to get the most candy I could, go home and devour it all. Once returning home I would pour all of my candy out on the floor of the living room and dive in; but I also remember that every year I would be sitting on the living room floor in a huff because I was being forced to wait even more while my parents went through all of my candy. At the time, I did not know why my parents were being so cruel to me–Why did they like making me wait, couldn’t they see that I needed that insane amount of sugar in my body at that exact moment? Was my father stealing all of my peanut butter-filled candy? Well yeah, he was, but what I didn’t know is that kids going door to door, collecting candy and immediately going home to start eating it could potentially turn into a murderer’s playground.

As the years go by, crime rates continue to rise throughout the country. I know now that it was not safe to let your child dive into their Halloween candy as soon as returning home and now, it proves to be an even greater risk, going by the crime rate in the country alone.

In the past five years I have noticed that the houses who participate in handing out candy have declined quite a bit; last year I remember thinking that Halloween just didn’t feel like Halloween anymore–There were very few children running around outside, going up the walk to houses and leaving with broad smiles covering their faces as their guardian slowly followed behind them. There were no orange and purple lights gleaming from the houses on my street and looking around the town I moved to last February as Halloween inches closer and closer by, it looks like it is going to be an even more silent Halloween this year.

If you are fortunate enough to live in an area where Halloween hasn’t dwindled to just another day of the week and you take your children out trick-or-treating, don’t forget to check their candy before they indulge in their loot. The top things to keep an eye out for are opened or partially opened pieces of candy and prepared candy or food without wrapping. It is important to make sure your holiday is the safest it can be and while the dangers of Halloween have changed cities to the point where Halloween hardly exists, we can still try to preserve the holiday for our children and be the safest we can be about it.

5 thoughts on “Have a Safe Halloween: Don’t Forget to Check Your Candy”

  1. Seems that now so many malls, churches and other establishments throw Halloween parties to keep our kiddos safer on Halloween. I had very few visitors last year from my own neighborhood. Vans and trucks pulled up with loads of kids who were obviously from other areas of town. I’m so glad that their families think to bring them to neighborhoods where they know the candy will be safe.

  2. Dr. Joel Best says:

    “Since 1983, I have followed stories about contaminated Halloween treats in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times and The Chicago Tribune going back to 1958, and every time a case has been reported, the cause of death or injury has turned out to be something other than Halloween candy.”

    Dr. Best is a sociologist who has studied Halloween candy tampering stories. See this link:
    http://www.udel.edu/PR/UDaily/01-02/halloweentreats102802.html

    However, it never hurts to be vigilant. It’s important to know the truth about many of these stories, though.

  3. Isn’t it a real shame that we have to worry about our kids all the time? Remember the good old days when our parents knew we were safe in our own neighbourhood? How I wish we could go back to those days…

  4. Diet – I hear you. When we were very young, my parents took us out trick-or-treating but that ended quite early and my brother and I went on our own. And I remember playing a lot as a kid until dinnertime with no adult supervision. It seems like a lot of kids don’t have this kind of unstructured time anymore and for a number of reasons.

    I think a lot of the dangers out there have not changed from when I was a kid. I think they are just more visible. There is a different perception of the nature and severity of some risks.

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