Tainted Halloween Candy: Are Your Kids Safe?

Tainted Halloween Candy – Are your Kids in Danger?

Imagine spending weeks preparing your kids for this one, big night. You put on your costume, fuss over their hair, shoes, and makeup, grab coats and a candy bag and hit the road. After walking door to door for hours, laboriously gathering sugary treats, you agree to head home with your happy but exhausted crew. You load up in the car, anticipating the first taste of sweet, flavorful candy from your kiddo’s bags. You pop in a treat, roll it around on your tongue and bite down. Something is off… ouch! Pulling the candy out of your mouth, you taste blood and see glass jutting out of your food. You’ve been given tainted Halloween candy! You won’t be going anywhere but the hospital tonight.

This scenario is scary, but not completely surprising. We’ve all heard the stories about deadly candy gathered on Halloween. We can clearly imagine the taste of blood and the pain of biting into razor blades and glass in our food. It’s not a comforting thought. Without a doubt, it pays to be safe with your kids Halloween candy.

How dangerous is Halloween Candy?


A parody of Tainted Halloween Candy Fears. Source: Brittlestar, Vine

Though there are dozens of urban legends floating around the internet, there are very few substantiated stories concerning tainted Halloween candy. The first substantiated story comes from Minneapolis circa the year 2000. A man named James Joseph Smith loaded bite-sized Snickers bars with needles and handed the candy out to Trick or Treaters.

When news of the tainted candy spread, parents across the nation were urged to take candy to local Emergency Rooms for free x-rays. 2000 marked the first year of several where parents found broken glass in popcorn balls, candy bars full of razor blades, or marijuana stuffed into candy wrappers.

How to Mitigate Dangers

Child surrounded by Halloween Candies

Source: Flickr – Peasap

Always check your kids’ candy before they eat it. It’s smart to discard any candy with damaged packaging. Look for signs like opened and re-sealed wrappers. If seams don’t meet up properly and it looks like someone re-sealed the wrappers with an iron, don’t let your kids eat the candy!

Every Halloween across the United States, hospital emergency rooms set up their x-ray machines to inspect candy. Though it may take extra time and effort, it pays to play it safe. Take your kids’ candy to the Emergency Room and have them perform a free x-ray on the treats just to be sure they’re safe.

When it comes to keeping your children safe, taking a little extra time to ensure their Halloween Candy is safe pays off. Take the extra time, stay safe, and have a Happy Halloween!