Strangers Poisoning Kids’ Halloween Candy Is a Myth
I'm a child of the 80s and if you too are a child of the 80s or later, there's a good chance your parents were completely freaked out about there being a chance the Halloween candy you collected might be tainted. But where did that fear in our parents come from?
Let me start by saying that when I was a kid, my family would travel from Scotia to Niskayuna because the candy was better in the neighborhood my grandparents lived in-, we're talking full sized candy bars; but I was completely put off by the chiropractic office at the top of the street (I think the office is still operating on Balltown Road, actually) because we'd have to parade through it on Halloween and dump out our candy so they could x-ray it. I didn't want to wait for it to be examined. I wanted to eat it. Now.
The idea of being freaked out over strangers passing out tainted candy to kids actually started with the “Dear Abby” column October 31, 1983. Abigail Van Buren, better known as "Dear Abby" published a column titled “A Night of Treats, not Tricks.” In the column, she reminded readers that “somebody’s child will become violently ill or die after eating poisoned candy or an apple containing a razor blade.”
Our parents bought into it and inspected our candy, but it turns out our candy has been just fine all of these years.
Experts at the University of Delaware have been investigating this subject for three decades and they haven’t confirmed one single single case of a stranger murdering a child through tainted Halloween candy.
Your kids should be perfectly fine this Halloween, just as we were. Although, it never hurts to err on the side of caution.