Halloween Myths and Truths
For many kids, trick-or-treating is one of the highlights of Fall. Not only do kids get to dress up, but they even get to eat a ton of candy and run around the neighborhood after dark. Even adults get in on the action by decorating their homes and enjoying grown-up parties. Every year, however, the stories of candy poisonings, injuries and stranger dangers only get scarier. Luckily for parents, most of these myths are false.
Myth: Poison Candy is Common
Everyone has heard of the story of the poisoned candy. Strangers lace candy with toxic chemicals and drugs just for fun. In fact, the majority of the stories have been debunked with the exception of two. While there have been two deaths in the past that did occur as a result of poisoned candy, the perpetrator was a family member and not a stranger.
That being said, parents should check the candy that kids bring home prior to letting them eat it. Candy that is not individually wrapped or that looks like it has been tampered with should be discarded.
Myth: Harm by Needles and Razor Blades in Candy
Like the myth above, one or two reports of an incident occurring is enough to cause fear. This fear has become so pervasive that many parents refuse to let their children eat any fruit they may have received while out canvasing the neighborhood. While there are one or two cases of sharp objects being found in candy, it should be noted that the majority of the reports that come out each Halloween are hoaxes. In fact, children are more likely to be hit by a car while trick-or-treating than coming across a razor blade or needle. This doesn’t necessarily mean that giving out or accepting fruit and other non-wrapped items on Halloween is necessarily a trend that should be brought back to life, but there are other dangers both parents and kids should be more aware of.
Stranger Danger is a Halloween Problem
When it comes to trick-or-treating, many parents are probably most worried about stranger danger. This fear appears to be entirely unfounded. There has never been a reported case of a child being in danger of assault or other harm from a convicted sex offender while out trick-or-treating. There are probably many reasons for this, including parental supervision and trick-or-treating groups, but many states also impose curfews and rules about opening their front door for registered sex offenders. Parents should keep in mind that harm to children is often caused by family members or family friends, not strangers.
Too Much Sugar Means a Late Bed Time
The “Too Much Sugar Causes Hyperactivity” myth has been debunked by multiple studies. For some reason, however, many parents still believe that sugar is the root of all evil, especially on Halloween. While eating a ton of candy all at once is certainly not healthy for their diet and their teeth, kids are usually hyper because they are excited. They wait all year for Halloween and the deviation from their normal routine may make them more energetic.
Help Keep Your Child Safe this Halloween
While many Halloween myths are easily debunked, there are some true facts that should not be overlooked. For example, it is true that children are twice as likely to be hit by a car when they are out trick-or-treating than on any other night. Make sure your children are safe by ensuring that they know how to safely cross the street, carry a flashlight or glowstick and do not wear masks that would prevent them from being able to see oncoming traffic.
Have a safe and happy Halloween!