While many trick-or-treaters go door-to-door until their goody bags are full, Halloween really shouldn't be a free-for-all in terms of taking candy. Or in terms of eating it. When you go out trick-or-treating with your kids, or send them off into the night with their friends, make sure they stick to houses they know (no complete strangers!) and avoid eating the candy while they walk around. First, an adult needs to inspect the loot and discard anything that is:
- Unwrapped: There have actually been documented cases of tampering, like needles found in chocolate bars [source: Snopes]. Throw out any fruit and any candy that's not in its original packaging.
- Homemade: Unless you personally know the baker, get rid of any homemade treats. You never know what could be in them.
- A choking hazard: Small children should not get to keep small pieces of candy, like candy-covered nuts or chewing gum, that could get caught in their throats.
Some other things to consider:
- Allergies: If your kids have allergies, make sure to check candy for any problematic ingredients. Nuts are especially prevalent in Halloween candy.
- Stomachaches: Don't eat it all at once! Tummy aches can ruin the fun and are a very common aftereffect of Halloween.
Safe candy and costumes will get you a long way toward a smooth Halloween evening, but they won't get you all the way there. Up next, a few more tips to help you avoid the big Halloween pitfalls.