There are some troubles for Trick or Treating this year. Not only is there the usual concerns for this Halloween, is it good and proper? Is it safe? Is it right? There’s now the additional concern of the bad weather. It would not be very surprising to see the streets remain fairly empty as the sun sets and the evening rolls in. In fact there are many communities that are encouraging their residents to postpone the trick or treating for a day because of the weather. Mostly that is through Quebec which has been warned of possible record rainfall tonight, causing serious safety concerns.
But even without the rain or wind warnings, which may be in place where you live, there is always the old concern of tampered candy. But is that concern based in reality or in a fog of fear? To take a better look at that there is some information the CBC released that you may want to know.
Firstly; is that in the last decade there have only been four cases of suspected tampering related to Halloween candy reported to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), so between April 1, 2008, and Oct. 15, 2019 only four cases were brought to the attention of the authorities. Two of those cases were referred to local police, but the CFIA said no illnesses or deaths were associated with any of the cases.
Secondly, this is not a new concern and has not become worse recently, in fact the first report of Halloween treats being tampered with in North America was in 1959 and there have been an estimated 200 confirmed cases of candy tampering in the U.S. and Canada since.
So you might be asking yourself “But what about that story from 2016 in Alberta? Or in 2017 in Cambridge?” According to the CBC it is true on Halloween in 2016, RCMP urged parents to throw out candy described as an “orange sugared disc with a black centre” after a child in Clive, Alta., became ill. That candy was subsequently tested and found to contain no poison. And in a particularly serious case, an 11-year-old girl from Cambridge, Ont., underwent surgery after ingesting a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup that contained a metal object. Waterloo Regional Police told the Cambridge Times at the time they were unsure if the metal was put into the candy intentionally or if it was a manufacturing issue.
Does candy tampering happen? Yes, it does. And parents have been coached for decades on how to best look after that concern and will be encouraged to do so. But is it as serious as it sometimes seems? Not really, you see, most often a case attributed to tampering is unrelated. Not surprising given the millions of children who go trick-or-treating that some would unfortunately end up falling ill or worse on the same night.
So if you are concerned about tampered candy, be sure not to let your children have any candy that is not properly wrapped or has a wrapper that doesn’t look right, and be sure to stick to the areas you are familiar with when going out. If you are concerned about the weather then prepare your kids in proper attire, forgo the great costume for safety and well-being.
If you do not feel comfortable going out this Halloween, then don’t! It’s okay to stay home! Pick up or make your own treats and fun! And while it is true there are some elements that you might feel are inappropriate for your family, and these concerns have been around for a while now, they don’t need to be included in your night. It doesn’t need to be demonic and it doesn’t have to be frightening. Again if it makes you uncomfortable, that is okay. You don’t have to participate.
But consider keeping your lights on and not hiding from your neighbours who are out enjoying the night. Remember that we are part of a bigger community and we are told to love, in Matthew 5: 43-45 “43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” Greet your neighbour should they come to your door this night, and do it with love. And if you would like; go out and greet them where they are, with that same love. Knowing your neighbour, loving them, makes for a stronger and safer community, and love spreads when it is shared.