Facts speak louder than statistics

Thursday, 8 November 2007

Halloween And Beyond

"In recent years, there have been reports of people with twisted minds putting razor blades and poison in taffy apples and Halloween candy. It is no longer safe to let your child eat treats that come from strangers." –Ann Landers

It’s never safe to let your children eat anything given to them by a stranger, I decided to do some research to see if children have been victims of confectionary tampering at Halloween. Apart from some people using Halloween poisonings to cover their own crimes and schemes it looks like “only” 5 children have died from eating tampered Halloween lollies.

That’s 5 children too many.

In one case reported on Wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poisoned_candy_scare a father used Halloween as a cover to murder his child for the life insurance by giving him cyanide laced lollies. The father then gave out poisoned lollies to other children to try and cover his crime so there’s an example of children being endangered by tainted lollies.

Whatever the motivation behind the poisonings it’s still the child on the receiving end of the poisoning, not a nice place to be. Saying its all someone else’s fault for giving out poisoned lollies doesn’t help the affected child.

And even if there were no or very few Halloween poisonings there can still be other potential consequences such as children accepting lollies from strangers at other times of the year, given children’s logic and simple desire for lollies, if it’s ok at Halloween there must be other times it’s ok.

That it’s never ok and there are no exceptions is what we need to teach.

Sunday, 4 November 2007


Halloween is over and done with for another year, this American tradition has been working its way into Australia for at least the last 10 years, maybe more and it now has a solid foothold in this country.

I have a problem with it.

When I say that some of the people that I’ve spoken to interrupt to say I don’t like it because it’s an American tradition and it has no place in this country.

Thankfully though most people let me finish speaking before adding their opinions.

Whether you interrupt me or you don’t, either way you find out my objections to Halloween lie in the fact it encourages children to do the very thing we should be teaching them not to do. We should be teaching them not to accept lollies from strangers, we should be teaching them to stay away from strangers to begin with.

Halloween teaches children to approach strangers then it teaches them to accept lollies from strangers.

We used to be taught at school to stay away from strangers and parents should be teaching it as well. It is not a rule of convenience that you can ignore whenever it suits you.

Some parents accompany their children but that doesn’t actually prevent people from tampering with lollies before they give them out and as good as forensic science is once a child has eaten something its origin is difficult to trace especially if they’ve been to a few houses.

It’s better if they aren’t put in that position to begin with.

And one good way to avoid that is by keeping children away from strangers all year round.