Although Halloween will look a lot different in 2020, many communities are still finding a way to celebrate. Kids may end up wearing masks over their face paint as they do contactless trick-or-treating. But they’ll still come home with candy–and that means you need to check their haul of sweets.
Halloween candy is safer than you might think. Many of the fears that circulate each year in October are urban legends. For example, you’re unlikely to find candy tainted with marijuana or CBD.
However, multiple incidents of pins, needles, and even razor blades in candy have popped up since the 1960s in America. Often, these are pranks by teenagers, but sometimes it’s even more serious.
In 2000, a Minneapolis man put needles inside Snickers bars and handed them out. One 14-year-old boy bit down on the tampered candy, but he was not seriously injured. The incident underlined the need to check candy for tampering.
First, it’s a good idea to check the treat haul while your kids aren’t watching. They might be tempted to sneak a few pieces of candy. Worse, they could go looking for the treats you threw away. They might not understand that you’re looking out for their safety.
Next, throw out anything homemade. Unless you personally know the person who made the treats, it’s simply not a good idea to each anything that is not pre-packaged.
Now look for anything unwrapped. Sometimes candies might accidentally get partially unwrapped, but they still aren’t guaranteed to be safe. Any packages that look strange or “off” in any way should also go straight in the trash. In this case, it’s better to follow your gut. Kids get more than enough candy on Halloween; they won’t miss a few pieces.
Hard candies are not a good choice for small children. These could pose a choking hazard. And honestly, they’re not that tasty anyway! Small toys, such as bouncy balls, could also be a choking hazard.
Health-conscious neighbors may hand out fresh fruit instead of candy. Wash the fruit and serve it in slices just to be safe.
Finally, check each wrapped piece of candy for rips or pinholes in the wrappers. This is a time-consuming process and requires good lighting. It’s best to do this in the daytime instead of on Halloween night. To keep kids happy, consider buying a bag of treats for the house that you can all safely enjoy together.