Halloween Candy Safety: What Is In Your Child’s Treat Bag?

October 26, 2017 by Dr. Andrew Smyth

For children, Halloween means indulging in sweet treats and playing dress-up. For parents, the fall holiday requires extra vigilance when it comes to food safety. Although most people hand out safe Halloween candy, there is always the chance that someone your child encounters when going from door to door may not be totally aware of what sort of foods are safe and appropriate for children.

Do you know what is in your child's trick-or-treat bag? Before letting the little ones feast on chocolates, suckers and gummy treats, give the candy a thorough examination.

Sort the Loot

When you get home from trick-or-treating, give the child one fully wrapped and clearly safe piece of candy from the bag to enjoy. Then, spread the treats out on a table or counter top to visually inspect each item.

Remove any treats with broken packaging or that appear to have been tampered with. Look for pieces of tape or puncture holes on the candy wrappers. Any items that do not appear to have come straight from the candy factory should be immediately thrown in the trash. Are there a few homemade treats in the bag? Only save such goodies if you know they came from close friends or family members.

Remove Any Allergens

Now, look through the Halloween candy for any goodies that align with allergens in the family. If your child cannot have peanuts or dairy products, for example, accidental ingestion could mean a trip to the doctor's office.

If only one child in the family has an allergy, it is best to remove all offending candy from the trick-or-treat bags. Children often share, and you do not want a surprise allergic reaction to ruin the holiday.

Toss Hazardous Candy

Finally, make sure all candy is age appropriate. Tiny tots cannot chew hard, chewy taffies well enough to avoid a choking hazard. Children wearing braces or retainers should avoid caramels and chewing gum.

Make Halloween safe, healthy and fun for everyone in the family. By taking an extra step of precaution and limiting the amount of candy your child eats, everyone wins!

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