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Candy tampering isn’t a big concern

Published: Tue, October 19, 2010 @ 12:10 a.m.


Avoid dark costumes that can’t be seen easily at night.

Pick costumes that fit properly to avoid trips and falls.

Limit children to areas they know.

Toss candy that has been opened.

Carry a flashlight and extra batteries.

Avoid poorly lit areas.

Source: Ohio Academy of Family Physicians

Staff report

As Halloween approaches, parents terrified of strangers’ putting razor blades in their children’s candy may want to focus on more down-to-earth safety concerns.

Dr. John Vaughn, a member of the Ohio Academy of Family Physicians, said he wouldn’t consider candy tampering the biggest threat on a trick-or-treat night.

“There have been no cases of tainted candy or razor blades in candy in Ohio that I know of,” Vaughn said. “Hospitals will sometimes X-ray the candy for public safety and public-relations purposes. We live in a world where you never can be too careful, though.”

Though dismissing that urban legend, he said parents should still check their kids’ bags for anything suspicious or potentially dangerous.

Some ingredients, such as peanuts, could be just as harmful to a child with allergies than anything hidden in the candy by a stranger. Vaughn said parents of children with food allergies should scrutinize labels after returning home.

“A lot of candy bars have peanuts in them even if they don’t look like they do,” Vaughn said.

Lt. Mike Fonda of the Mahoning County Sheriff’s Department said he has not noticed an increase in crimes against juveniles during Hallo-ween celebrations.

“Years ago, we used to hear horror stories like razor blades in candy,” Fonda said. “Fortunately, over the years, I have not heard a whole lot. People are very careful where their kids are concerned.”

Researchers also have found Halloween may not be as dangerous as holidays that may seem less threatening.

According to an April study by researchers at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, children were more likely to be injured on Labor Day, Memorial Day and July 4 than Halloween. They also found most of the injuries on each day were sport- and home- related, and not related to a holiday-specific activity.

Fonda said he is not aware of increased injuries during Halloween, but he has noticed drunken-driving arrests typically increase on Hallo-ween night.

“Halloween more so than any other night of the year is a big DUI night,” he said “With respect to traffic, there’s also definitely a spike.”

With more drivers on the road, sober and otherwise, Vaughn said it is important for kids and costumed adults to both see and be seen. He suggests kids and adults wear reflective or glow-in-the-dark tape and avoid eye-patches, hats and masks.

Vaughn said the most important thing parents can do to make sure their children have a safe night is to supervise them closely as they go door to door.

Fonda said a little common sense and preparation go a long way toward a safe holiday.

“Older children should always take friends with them, and younger kids should be with a trusted adult,” he said. They should never enter a stranger’s home or vehicle under any circumstances.”


1Rosewood11(9 comments)posted 5 years, 1 month ago

My brother was very little when this disgusting practice of attempting to injure little kids started occurring. We lived in town at the time, making it possible for him to go to several houses in a 5-or-6-block area. In an effort to head off the problem, I had him go to the door of a house with an empty bag. When he returned to me, I wrote down the number of the house, and what type of treat he'd gotten there in a steno pad--perfect for address on one side of the page and type of candy on the other. I then put that treat in the big bag I was carrying for him. The next day, I told some friends what I'd done, and was surprised when they asked me what good it would do since he could have gotten more than one of the same item. My logic was this: if the injury came from a popcorn ball, etc. and he'd gotten six of them, then we'd know which six houses the police should check. The same would be true if the candy is x-rayed. The police will know which houses that type of treat came from because of the log you keep. You'll not only make it much easier for the police, but you'll make it much scarier for people who think this kind of thing is funny.

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2EricLW(66 comments)posted 5 years, 1 month ago

Rosewood, did you even READ the story? I suggest you re-read it and stop being paranoid. You are more likely to get shot knocking on a door in south side then get tainted candy. Tho, watching out for drunk drivers might be advised as well.

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3Rosewood11(9 comments)posted 5 years, 1 month ago

Actually, I lived in Flint, Michigan at the time this happened--another great American city!!! When we moved to Youngstown (a step up, actually), we ended up in the suburbs because we wanted a larger yard. I did belatedly see that the story downplays the idea of candy-tampering, but what harm does knowing where something came from actually do? There are people who have no choice but to take their kids out for what we used to call "Beggars' Night" in less-than-nice neighborhoods, so I still think my idea is useful. As for the Southside being a bad area, I notice that a lot of the urban blight around St. E's has been leveled, and it's still not safe for the nurses on late duty to leave alone. It's not the area that needs to change; it's the hearts and attitudes of people. Whether you shoot little children (or adults), or you give them tainted candy on Halloween, you're evil and deserve to get caught.

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4southsidedave(5166 comments)posted 5 years, 1 month ago

It can always be dangerous when knocking on a strangers's door. However. with some common sense exercised by the supervising adults, all children can enjoy Halloween.

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5seminole(476 comments)posted 5 years, 1 month ago

It's not the candy we worry about, it's the carloads of ghetto crawlers that come into Boardan in van-loads then drop their un-costumed packs, running through yards and landscapping, frightening the neighborhood kids with their uncontrolled ghetto act. And, of course, the Boardman police cruise silently through the packs, smiling in approval...

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6mrblue(1159 comments)posted 5 years, 1 month ago

Hey Seminole: It happens in Campbell every year. Van loads of kids from the east side. And, they don't even say thank you.

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7seminole(476 comments)posted 5 years, 1 month ago

mrblue, I feel ya. It's a ghetto blast, rude kids and parents, asking if they can get candy for their unborn baby hanging over her spandex pants...no manners, no respect, just trash looking for more free handouts...

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