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Trick-or-Treat? What Not to Eat!

David Ross, MD, MBA, ACMC-Litchfield, Family Medicine

Halloween: A day of ghosts, goblins—or as I fondly remember pirates and princesses—and treats galore.

If your little ones are headed out to trick-or-treat this Halloween, make sure you've armed them with these food (read: candy) safety tips.

  1. Never eat candy until it has been inspected at home by an adult—that means you, too, mom and dad! There should be absolutely no snacking on treats from the goody bag while trick-or-treating. Inspect all treats for signs of tampering, such as an unusual appearance or discoloration, tiny pinholes, or tears in wrappers. Throw away anything that looks suspicious. To make sure this won't be a problem, plan a light meal or snack before you hit the local neighborhood to trick or treat.
  2. Don't accept, and definitely don't eat, anything that isn't commercially wrapped. As delicious as that homemade caramel apple or popcorn ball may look, it shouldn't even make it into your child's trick-or-treat bag. If it does, it should go straight in the trash when you get home.
  3. Keep an eye out for choking hazards like gum, peanuts, hard candies or small toys. Always remove them before allowing your child to select a treat.
  4. Be careful of anything that may have something your child is allergic to. An adult should always inspect each label to ensure that it doesn't have any allergy triggers and is safe for their child to eat. If your child has a food allergy, make sure they know what to avoid eating.
  5. Let them eat their treats, but in moderation. Hand out one or two pieces every day and stash the rest away.

Though food safety is an important part of Halloween, it's also important to have fun! Here's to a safe and happy Halloween.