Although homemade goodies are often appreciated more than most store-bought treats, Halloween is not the time to distribute them to trick-or-treaters. There are several precautions children and parents should take before enjoying their treats.
“It is important to check all Halloween candy before it's consumed to make sure it's safe and not intentionally tampered with or unintentionally contaminated,” says Romi Londre, a registered dietitian with Mayo Clinic Health System Franciscan Healthcare in La Crosse. “It may seem like a great idea at first, but just remind your children not to accept — and especially not to eat — anything that isn't commercially wrapped.”
Londre offers additional tips to make sure your child has a safe Halloween.
Have a balanced meal before trick-or-treating, even pack a snack for the kids so they're not tempted to eat any candy before you can check all the pieces.
Inspect all candy under a bright light. Check for tampered wrappers, making sure they are intact and free of pinholes. Be on the look-out for any discolored or strange-smelling candy. If you are unsure, dispose of the candy.
Check the expiration date.
Review the listed ingredients for any allergies your children may have, especially nuts.
Monitor the amount of candy your child eats to avoid stomach aches and over-consumption.
Let your children eat any pieces of candy until they have been inspected.
Eat any homemade treats or peeled fruit.
Hand out gum, hard candies or small objects to young children, as they may pose a choking hazard.