Trick-or-treating is my favorite Halloween activity. The costumes are fun, and there’s candy involved. However; as I’ve gotten older, and had my own kids, Halloween is a lot more work and a lot less fun. Costumes are still a highlight, but I am very cautious of the candy given to my kids.
Trunk-or-treating with a fun group
Finding a great place to trick-or-treat is harder than when I was a kid. I grew up on military bases and most families participated in the yearly holiday. Families knew each other and we felt safe traveling in packs on the base. Now, my kids don’t have that liberty.
However, the best Halloween holiday the kids had was in Chicago. The kid’s karate school participated in a trunk-or-treat. Each family set up their car with candy, music and decorations while kids were led by parents and karate instructors to each car to trick-or-treat. Since we knew each other we felt safe with the candy we received, and knew the parents worked as a group to keep the kids in a safe environment.
Allergies are problematic
A big issue with kid’s candy are allergies. There are more children with peanut and gluten allergies than ever before. All kids, especially those with with allergies, should not eat anything before a parent or guardian has the chance to check the candy. Many foods contain gluten or nuts and can set off an allergic reaction.
I throw away all fresh fruit
I’m a big advocate of fresh fruits, but this is one time of the year I don’t let my kids eat it. Even with best intentions, as a parent, I have no idea what’s in it. I’ve heard the urban legends of razors, pins and poison in fruit, and whether true or not, I feel safer by not letting my kids eat it.
Eating candy before being checked is a no-no
This rule goes a long way whether it’s Halloween or not. Candy such as Skittles and M&M’s come in closed packets, but items such as Hubba Bubba or mints have twist wrappers. I noticed these candies have the most missing or loose wrappers. They can be contaminated with anything since they’re not well covered.
I throw away homemade treats, also. I watch my kids closely so they don’t eat any candy before we get home. Once home, I throw away what I deem harmful, and then put the rest away to be doled out slowly.
Eating on the go is a choking hazard
Hard candy is my kid’s favorite type of candy, but I don’t let my kids eat candy on the go for fear of choking. Handling a choking episode in the dark, while roaming the neighborhood, is not something I look forward to.
Choking is not just a hazard for my kids, but a major hazard for all young children. Not all cases are fatal, but it’s still traumatic for children and parents. Hard candy causes the most choking episodes for young children under four.