As parents we are all more than aware of the infamous holiday that is just around the corner. The one filled with wrapped treats and cute costumes galore. Yes, I am talking about Halloween. However, this holiday is not always a great time for parents because it can bring with it a lot of fear due to many of the issues we currently face in our society. Meaning, we want our children to have fun without also ending up with some harmful if not deadly in their treat bag. Overall, as parents we just want to protect our children as best as we can so I have written this article in attempt to provide some information to help you do that.
Often I say my education is a gift and a curse because I have knowledge about those things “that go bump in the night” and at times, it’s not always fun to know it. However, in this case, I am glad I know certain things and can in turn pass it along to other parents. Now, it’s pretty well known that in the mid-80’s, we had to start worrying about razor blades in apples and cyanide being placed in food. Unfortunately with the continued development of technology, the internet, and resources, we have also increased not only our level of exposure, but also the level of autonomy.
I will start off saying that as much as the media likes to feed the masses’ level of panic, there has not been any cases of people in the United States INTENTIONALLY giving children candy laced with drugs. With that being said, there are NUMEROUS food and candy products out there that are laced with drugs, such as Marijuana and obviously this has only increased with the legalization of marijuana in certain states. Now many parents might say, “Oh I know what pot smells like, I would know if my child has it”. Well…no you wouldn’t because once pot has been infused into a food product, there is no way to tell it’s in there until AFTER the effects start happening, BUT all food products sold by a dispensary are required by law to be labeled. Parents also need to know that there have been cases of people lacing things such as Smarties with LCD and there have even been reports of flavored Meth and Heroin circulating through the U.S. Teenagers have even found a way around “suspicious prescription drug use” by melting down hard candy, mixing in crushed up prescription pills, then letting it harden. There is also THOUSANDS of type’s Ecstasy available on the streets that all contain child friendly pictures and colors.
So what do we do? Well the best offense is a good defense and what parents can do is be very mindful and aware. First and foremost, it’s a great idea to only take your child(ren) to areas in which you know the people. If that is not possible, search in your local town for churches, businesses, other organizations that are doing city wide trick or treating. Most everyone does this now just for the safety of the children and it will always be a better option that taking your child to a stranger’s home. Go through EVERYTHING in your child’s bag. Take out ANYTHING that does not have a wrapper, looks like it has been rewrapped, and/or is not in the original shape that we have come to know for most candy available. If you find anything suspicious, feel it could harmful, or know for sure it’s something harmful, DO NOT throw it out! Turn it in to your local authorities because they will be able to not only dispense of it properly, they may be able to find where it’s coming from which is helpful if someone is giving kids drugs intentionally. Personally, I would also not allow my kids to have Smarties at all, simply because they are too easy to rewrap and no one is of the wiser. While it should not have to be said, I am going to say it anyway… DO NOT let your child have ANY food items, AT ALL!!! That includes brownies, fruit, food of any kind. It’s just not worth the possible risk.
Like I said in the beginning, there are several “panic fires” that are being stoked by the press with no evidence to back them up, but as I also stated, it’s always better to be safe than sorry because who knows what could accidently end up in a person candy dish! Therefore it’s just good information to get out there! I wish everyone the best of holidays and STAY SAFE!