#SafeAndSpooky: Halloween Candy Tampering
Halloween is all about spooky things! One thing that isn’t supposed to be scary, though, is Halloween candy!
Scary Halloween Candy
Every Halloween, new rumors emerge about dangerous or tainted Halloween candy. With hundreds of costumed children roaming the dark streets and knocking on stranger’s doors, the paranoia of Halloween candy tampering is not unfounded. Parents worry that malicious strangers will slip dangerous items, like razor blades, needles, or broken glass into their children’s candy, or even put poison or drugs into the candy.
However, these incidents are incredibly rare. In the cases where a child has been injured or killed, the culprit often isn’t the candy at all. In the 1970s, for example, a young boy died after eating cyanide-laced Pixie Sticks. His death sparked panic in his community, and kicked off some of the candy rumors we still hear today. It was later discovered, though, that his father had poisoned the candy himself, hoping to receive his son’s life insurance. In another case, a family blamed their child’s death on poisoned candy to hide the fact that their child had gotten into their heroin stash. As these cases show, tainted Halloween candy deaths are often the result of a family member, rather than a dangerous stranger in the community.
Be Cautious of Tainted Halloween Candy
Rumors aside, it is still important to be safe when it comes to Halloween candy. When your child gets home after trick-or-treating, go through their loot with them. Look for any signs of Halloween candy tampering, such as wrappers with tears, holes, or discoloration, and avoid candy without wrappers entirely. If something looks suspicious, throw it away. Some hospitals offer free x-rays to your child’s candy, and can help you locate any foreign objects that may be lurking inside. To prevent your child from eating candy before you can inspect it, make sure they eat a good meal before trick-or-treating. You can also give them a treat to snack on as they go.
Remember, candy that has been tampered with doesn’t always need to be poisoned to be dangerous. If your child has allergies, be extra careful, and don’t let them take any homemade goods. For smaller children, get rid of any candy that might be a choking hazard, like gumballs or small hard candies. Look out for pets, too. Keep all candy, especially chocolates, safely stored and out of reach of animals.
It’s unlikely that you’ll encounter any cyanide or razor blades this Halloween, but even so, it is important to be cautious. After all, candy consumption is one of the best things about Halloween. Be safe so that everyone can continue to enjoy it!
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