There's not much more exciting for kids — and parents — than going out on Halloween in their costume to collect a candy haul that will last well into the next calendar year (ha, OK, maybe not). Having a delicious bowl of minicandies to munch on after dinner, to put into school lunches as a treat, and for — let's be honest — bribes, is extremely awesome, but there are a few things parents should do to make sure their child's candy bucket contains only safe-to-eat treats.
Read through for five steps to take to make sure your child's Halloween loot is safe.
- Don't let them eat anything until they get home. Make sure your child knows they aren't allowed to dig in until you've inspected their collection. (Pro tip: send them with a few pieces of safe candy in a zip bag to eat on their travels.)
- Examine their loot as soon as they get home. Look out for — and throw away — anything suspect, such as:
- Loose, ripped, lumpy, punctured, or discolored wrappers
- Candy that isn't in its original box or wrapper
- Homemade candies or treats from strangers
- Brands or manufacturers you've never heard of
- Anything passed its expiration date
- Remove anything they could potentially choke on. Depending on their age, anything super chewy or small and hard — such as gum, Tootsie Rolls, and jawbreakers — should be skipped if it's not age-appropriate.
- If you find anything that's been tampered with, call the police. Report anything hazardous immediately to your local police department.
- If you are ever in doubt, throw it away. If you sincerely feel uneasy about the candy your child received, get rid of their loot and replace it with prebought backup candy.