Every year on October 31st children of all ages dress up in costumes and venture house to house in search for candy. Some of the costumes are pretty frightening, but what’s even more frightening is how potentially dangerous it is to receive candy from strangers. Although there have been only a handful of Halloween candy tampering cases there is still a tiny chance that you may or your child may be the victim. This is an instance where the common saying, better safe than sorry, comes accurately into play. It is always wise to check your child’s candy when they come home from trick or treating and here’s how to do it.
Before your child goes out trick or treating it is important to lay some ground rules. Let them know that they are not to eat any of the candy while they are walking from house to house. Let them know that it is important that you look over each piece of candy to make sure it is safe. Do not scare them by explaining the razor blade or cyanide candy stories but just let them know that some of there candy could make them really sick if you don’t get it checked over first. Provide incentive for your child to not eat the candy by stating if they don’t they will get some type of reward when they get home.
When checking the candy make sure you have a big enough area to examine each piece carefully. Spreading the haul on the kitchen table seems to work best. Carefully wade through the pieces of candy and eliminate the types that could have been easily tampered with. While it is very kind for households to make home made treats for children or provide them with healthy options such as fruit, these are the easiest targets for tampering. They are made by the house inhabitant directly, which allows them the opportunity to add in their own ingredients. These items may not only be harmful because they are easy to tamper with but also because they do not come with an ingredient list. If there are allergies in your family this is also an instance where home made treats should be removed.
After the homemade treats are eliminated from the candy haul it is time to inspect wrappers. Throw out any product that has holes in the wrapper or where the wrapper has been removed. If a candy looks like it may have been re-wrapped it should also be removed from the pile. While it is true that defects and sugar powder end up on many candies each year and is not harmful, it is still beneficial to remove any candy you even suspect could have been tampered with.
Your child will have a little lighter load of candy than they did when they brought it into the house. It this causes a fuss, which is common for young children especially, add a few pieces of their favorite that you may have purchased yourself. This makes them aware that you are doing this only for their safety and not to simply steal their best candy. Never provide any temptation for your child to sneak a piece as they travel from house to house. Be open and honest about your intentions with checking their candy without excessively scaring them.
Now that your child has safely checked candy prepare for a week long sugar high and complaints of stomach aches. I wish you the best of luck keeping your children safe this holiday season.