When Halloween Treats are Safe to Eat

It’s that bewitching time of year, when soon all sorts of little goblins and ghouls will be showing up at your door expecting a treat. Trick-or-treaters come in all ages and stages of development, so it is best to be prepared for these scary little creatures. Here are some Halloween ‘tricks’ to ensure safety is a priority when handing out treats.

  • No one has time to sort candy out by ages in regards to safety. It goes without saying that candies appropriate for a teenager may not be even remotely logical for a toddler. The best route is to take the safe road for everyone. Stay away from candies that are hard, large in diameter, or extremely hard to chew. Make your candy bowl safe for all little monsters.
  • It is also advisable to stay away from candy that contains whole nuts, like peanuts or macadamia nuts. Not only do these present a choking hazard to small children, but many kids have a nut allergy that may be triggered by these sweets.
  • Try to avoid candy that is easily unwrapped. Parents should be wary of candy that has twist-tie wrappings, as these candies are the easiest to tamper with.
  • Never make homemade treats for kids. Parents have no idea where it came from or what might possibly have been put into it. Use only packaged candy as treats.

Parents are the ‘Inspector 12’ of the candy patrol that night. Here are some tips for parents on the receiving end of these treats:

  • Instruct your child not to eat any of the candy unless it has met your personal seal of approval. That means visually inspecting each piece.
  • It is tough for a kid to walk around with a bucket of candy if they are hungry. That is even tough for an adult!! You may want to send your troop out haunting the neighborhood right after they eat a meal, so the temptation to snack is less oppressive.
  • Inspect all candy for loose wrapping, pin holes, or other evidence of tampering.
  • Throw away any homemade treats, fruit, or candy with torn or loose wrappings. There is no guarantee that these items have not been tampered with. It is better to be safe than sorry.
  • Bottom line: When in doubt, throw it out!

We hope these tips are a guideline for a safe and fun Halloween!

Diane Simon, RN, CEN is the trauma coordinator/registrar for ProMedica Defiance Regional Hospital. 

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