Remember straight pins and razor blades in apples? We're past these urban legend tales of Halloween treat tampering, right?
Well... maybe not.
There's been multiple incidents of tampered candy - and other undesirable items being found in bags this year. The reports range from prescription pills being found loose in one child's bag in St. Catherines ON, to syringes in Brandon, MB, to a razor blade in Halifax, NS.
Despite these scary sounding reports, people shouldn't panic.
The fact that the majority of these incidents appear to be one-offs, and that there is not one conclusive report of a child being seriously injured or killed by a contaminated Halloween treat, is part of what leads the academic expert on the subject of Halloween Candy Tampering, Joel Best, to believe that most of these incidents are hoaxes, often done by the kids themselves.
Still, there's no harm in playing it safe; police acknowledge that trying to investigate the cases are difficult and still advise you to check the spoils of your children's night out.
The Niagara Police say to be on the lookout for the following things when checking your children's treats:
- An unusual appearance or discoloration
- Tiny pinholes or tears in wrappers. Is it still sealed or air tight?
- Spoiled or unwrapped items
- Homemade items, fruit or baked goods should be discarded unless you personally know who gave them.
As always, when in doubt, throw it out. And if you do find something in the treat bag that appears to have been a deliberate attempt to cause injury, you should contact the police.