Checking The Kid’s Halloween Candy: How Far Will You Go?
I am a child of the eighties. I think a lot of you remember that time. Things seemed to change a bit, in that in my first few years of Trick or Treating, I don't seem to remember my parents going over everything with a fine tooth comb. But then, I remember my Mom heard a story about someone finding a razor blade in an apple and all heck broke loose.
I looked into it myself here this week and saw several different articles about candy tampering, and found that most of them were untrue or were based on some point of fact, but then exaggerated, because, well, people. There was a story about a kid eating a Pixie Stick that was laced with cyanide in the seventies. So of course people got paranoid, but they never heard the real story - the kid's DAD was the one who put it there, because he had a life insurance policy on the kid and he wanted that money. Another kid supposedly died from heroin being mixed in his candy. Turns out, (the kid's name is Kevin Trost) the kid had gotten into his family's heroin stash, and the family staged the candy tampering to throw off the cops. But of course, nobody heard that part of the story.
I think my Mom was just trying to be cautious. After all, we'd all seen the Adam Walsh story. And compared to when they were kids, you were hearing a lot more about crazy killers in the world. It's not that they weren't there before, it's just that people were hearing about them now. And hearing about the Chicago Tylenol murders probably didn't help.
So every Halloween, we were not allowed to eat candy until we got home (the years we went alone, that is, without them) and they had to look at it first. And I imagine a few pieces were pilfered every now and then. But really, I don't remember anything close to being tampered with when I was a kid. I remember not being allowed to eat apples or popcorn balls, or home made cookies that I got, only candy in a package. But nothing was wrong with any of it.
Now, I hear about parents taking their kid's candy to an X ray machine. I mean, I get it, you want your kids to be safe, but DANG. Does it really need to go that far? You got that candy from a church Trunk or Treat. Do you really think Mildred, the little old lady that was running the ring toss game, is trying to poison your little Bobby?!
I'm not saying that wouldn't make a good movie, but... that's just it. It's fiction. It's urban legends that we let get away from us. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying don't check the candy. But maybe cut back on the scale of paranoia. I'm thinking it might scare the kids more than anything, and they'll grow up getting even more freaked out by their neighbors.
Anyway, what do you think? How carefully do you check the candy your kids get? Do you check it at all? Does it differ based on where they got the candy - like, if they got it from a neighborhood walk or got it from a business or a Trunk or Treat?