You know those situations in life where you think a particular circumstance is ironic? Yes, well, for me, this is one of them. I’ve been thinking a lot about a recent article I read. It wasn’t so much about Halloween safety tips as it was reminding parents to avoid overreacting. The author happens to be a co-worker of mine, whose talented writing I always enjoy. In the article in question, she mentioned that parents worry needlessly about drugs being in Halloween candy. It was also stated that child abduction is extremely rare, so there’s really no need to fear.
The author, of course, was not advocating neglectful parenting. She was merely pointing out that our worst fears almost never come to fruition. It’s okay to relax a bit and let our kids enjoy traditional pastimes like trick-or-treating. I was almost sold on the idea (of not worrying too much) until an ironic thing happened today.
Police in two states issued Halloween safety tips
As I was scanning the news online, I came across an article about police in Florida and my own state (PA) offering Halloween safety tips. Guess what prompted their advice? It seems that units in both states recently seized seemingly harmless looking candy. One batch was taken into custody during a warranted search, the other during a traffic stop. The candy was reportedly laced with THC (the main component in marijuana).
The treats looked like store-bought gummy bears and sour patch candies, as well as a third batch that looked like Nerds Ropes. My kids (and I) happen to love all the candies mentioned. They are often our go-to choice for movie-watching. Never in a million years did I consider worrying that our gummies or sour patches might be laced with drugs.
Isn’t it ironic?
(Am I the only one who added “Don’tcha’ think?” in her best Alanis Morisette voice to that subtitle? LOL ) All kidding aside, you can see my dilemma can’t you? Yesterday, I was reading about trying not to worry about people putting drugs in candy. Today, I’m reading Halloween safety tips online where police say it is indeed a real risk. In fact, police in two different states reportedly have recently taken drug-laced candy into their possession.
I agree that it’s not healthy to live in fear. I also think it is a bit naive nowadays to believe children are in no more danger than they were several decades ago. So much has changed in the world. Children now face risks that were non-existent in their great-grand parents’ generation.
Should Halloween safety tips include info on kidnappings?
As for child abduction, I know all-too-well how real that threat is. When two of my older kids were in their early teens, a man tried to get them into a car. On another occasion, a neighbor of ours physically interrupted an attempted kidnapping. Another neighbor’s grand-child was crossing from her yard to her grandma’s yard next door. A man in a truck stopped and was exiting the passenger side door to reach for her. Our young, strong neighbor screamed and started bolting toward the truck. The driver sped off and the young man safely escorted the child across the rest of the yard to her grandma’s front door.
Several parents in nearby communities to my own successfully averted child abductions in local malls and department stores this past summer. Also, my nephew was stationed at a large military installation in Texas. He later told me it was not safe for his kids to play outdoors because child abduction and sex-trafficking were so problematic in his area.
Parental concern helps keeps kids safe
Click this link to read the exact article I mentioned earlier, the one that includes Halloween safety tips from police. Before you do that, however, consider this: Paranoia suggests an irrational fear. Parental concern, on the other hand, is an integral component (or, at least, should be) of family life. Your diligence, alertness and caution might save your child’s life some day.
Always be aware of your surroundings and teach your children to do the same. If your child goes trick-or-treating and gets gummy candy or similar treats in baggies that aren’t manufacturer-sealed, pitch it. It’s definitely a situation where it’s better to be safe than sorry.