With Halloween around the corner (in TWO days!) I thought I’d make sure to share some tips on how to check your kids’ Halloween candy. My mom used to always check our candy as soon as we walked in the door from trick-or-treating. We were used to it. She never found any tampered candy, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.
I never thought anything of this Halloween ritual until I talked to Scott about taking our son trick-or-treating for the very first time this year. I was shocked when he told me his parents NEVER checked his candy!! Maybe they knew their neighbors pretty well, but when it comes to children, you can really never be too safe. So please, please, please check your kids’ Halloween candy this year!
Even if you know everyone in your neighborhood, you’d be surprised. Most crimes committed are done by people we encounter on a regular basis. I don’t want to scare anyone and I definitely don’t want to stop anyone from trick-or-treating even though the idea of asking strangers for candy is so bizarre. I won’t ruin your fun and I really am excited to take our son out for his first year! So I’m just going to leave some tips below for how to check your kids’ Halloween candy and hope you do it and have the safest fun possible 😉
How to check your kids’ Halloween Candy:
Make it a rule.
Make sure your kids know ahead of time not to snack on candy while trick-or-treating. You don’t need to scare them, but definitely let them know it is important that you check their candy before they begin eating it. Make it fun and go out for an early family dinner beforehand so they’re not hungry while knocking on doors!
First step, dump candy out in a well-lit room as soon as trick-or-treaters get home.
Pretty self explanatory, you need to be able to see the candy you’re inspecting.
Discard any homemade treats from strangers.
I know, a lot of love went into making those treats, but if you don’t know/don’t trust the person who gave it to your kids then toss it! It’s really not worth the risk. This includes caramel apples and popcorn balls!
If there are allergies in your home, remove inappropriate candies.
If your kids are allergic to nuts, toss the reeses, snickers, etc.
Err on the side of caution. If anything doesn’t look right toss it.
- Lumps or bulges under the wrappers
- Punctures or pinholes in wrappers or boxes
- Ripped wrappers
- Loose wrappers
- Discolored or stained wrappers or boxes
- Foreign objects poking from the candy
- Candy that isn’t in the original box or wrapper
- Treats that are in unsealed boxes or partly unwrapped wrappers
- Mismatched candy in packages containing multiple pieces. Look for candies that are a different size or color from all the others.
- Candy brands or manufacturers that you’ve never heard of.
- Candy that has a strange or unpleasant smell.
- Candy that has passed its expiration date.
What to do with fruit.
Wash it thoroughly and cut it into small pieces. I, personally, don’t like the idea of letting my children keep the fruit unless I know the person who gave it to them.
Call the police if you find any tampered candy!
Obviously I think it’s important that you check your kids’ Halloween candy before they eat any, but just know it is pretty unlikely that it has been tampered with. It is still a great precaution. I would hate to have an accident happen because I didn’t think it was important to check. If you are still worried after your candy check, some hospitals offer free candy Xrays on Halloween and the day after. Do a google search and find one near you so you can have some peace of mind.
And just in case, here’s an important phone number 😉
POISON CONTROL CENTER 1-800-222-1222
Also, since we’re talking about safety: Most people trick or treat after dark when it’s harder to see so make sure your kids watch out for cars! And if you’re driving, make sure you watch out for kids!