Let’s Kill the “Kids Get Poisoned on Halloween!” Myth

Hi Readers! I don’t know about you, but I let my kids eat their Halloween candy without my inspecting it. In fact, they can eat any homemade treats or apples they get, too. (Ha! Like they’d ever eat an apple on Halloween.)

If you also happen to trust the world not to be poisoning your kids — and I think you should: there have been no instances of a child ever poisoned by a stranger on Halloween (here’s the Snopes report) — I’m wondering if you’d consider doing this:

Send me a photo or video of your children eating an unwrapped treat.

That is, any treat that’s not factory- or perfectly wrapped.

If I get some of these images, I will edit them into a little package — a treat of my own, for the media. Next year, as Halloween approaches, I’ll try to get it some air time, to counter all the Halloween hysteria.

Why is that of any importance? Because hysteria unhinges us. Fear of poisoned candy (and, more recently, rampant sex offenders) has led communities around the country to curtail kids’ freedom on Halloween. Think about that: the ONE DAY OF THE YEAR that kids get to DRESS  and ACT like adults and GO OUT INTO THE WORLD and DO SOMETHING ON THEIR OWN is being whittled away.  That’s not happening everywhere, of course. But many places and parents now consider trick-or-treating to dangerous to condone, despite the fact that crime is down since when they were young. So kids are corralled into parties instead, where the fun is created and supervised by adults. And, of course, the candy is “safe.” (WHICH IT WAS IN THE OUTSIDE WORLD TOO!!!)

As I’ve written before, Halloween is the day we seem to test-market new fears. If they’re successful there, they spread. So if we can show people that a lot of us actually TRUST our neighbors not to be psychopathic child-poisoners, maybe we can start turning this stranger-danger (and neighbor-danger, and homemade treat-danger) thing around.

If you’re interested, you can email me your photos, or a video, or a link to either of those at heylenore3@gmail.com. By doing so, I will assume you are fine with my using the images in a package I will distribute to the media. Thanks and happy Halloween! — Lenore

Eat ‘em and weep?

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