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Poisoned Candy, Real Or Myth?


Trick Or Treaters
Getty Images/Sergio Dionisio

Parents as far back as can be remembered, have always taken a peek into the Halloween candy bag of their children.  One reason is to steal a Snickers or Milky Way when the kids aren’t looking, but the main reason is to see if the candy has been tampered with.  But scientists say the claims of children dying after taking a bite from their favorite candy come down to just myths.

Researcher Joel Best of University of Delaware has looked into about 100 different stories of candy contamination.  He found that almost always, the candy tampering stories have been just that…..stories.  And usually told by kids to scare other kids.

Aaron Carroll, a professor of pediatrics at Indiana University also said that the fear of strangers poisoning candy to harm children is simply a myth.  Carrol says that in all the research that has been completed, there is only two documented cases of Halloween candy harming a child.  In 1974, an 8-year-old died after eating Pixy Stix. But the person doing this poisoning wasn’t the odd neighbor that lived at the end of the block, it was the child’s own father who laced the Pixy Stix with cyanide.

And then there was a 5 year old that overdosed and died from his uncle’s heroin.  The family took the remainder of the drug, sprinkled it on the Halloween candy and crossed their fingers that the tale of contaminated candy would get them out of trouble with the law.

What about razor blades in candy, needles in nouget and syringes injecting poison?  Nope….not true.

This means that parents can continue to inspect the Halloween candy bags….just in case.  But maybe parents should be more concerned with reminding their children to watch the street when they are out trick-or-treating.  The National Safety Council says that children are more likely to be killed by a car on Halloween….not a contaminated Twix.





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