A quick exercise in math based on Halloween stats renders some very clear and guessed at conclusions. In the past four decades there have been next to no actual cases of people deliberately trying to poison groups of children via candy.
The few cases that some older folks may remember as attempted poisonings turned out to be poor attempts at smuggling drugs, not someone’s desire to kill children. Then of course there is the single incident of the age-old over told story of razor blades in the candy. That led to the minor injury of a single teenage child (who obviously eats his candy faster than his brain can process the oddity of what he just put in his mouth).
When it comes to actual cases of kids being poisoned (including the messed up Dad who tried to kill his child with terrible treats for insurance money) you’re children have more chances of anything else happening to them other than being harmed by a collection of goodies. The same goes for the risk of abduction or abuse by pedophiles. There is no marked increase in abuse, human abductions or poisoning on Halloween night.
Why are we surrounded with all of these stories and fear then? Because the media knows just how laughably phobic we are and because many parents use alarming fear-based tactics of low-level manipulation to instill safe behaviors in their children.
So, the actual odds of your child being killed by a malicious citizen based on reported and confirmed crimes of this nature in the last 40 years are an estimated .075 to 42 million. Your roughly 10 times more likely to win the lottery. If you look at annually reported alien abduction testimonies you’re more likely to have your kids reportedly taken by “little green men” and then safely returned than you are to lose them to weaponized sweets.
It seems so hilariously horrible to me that the real threats facing kids on Halloween are not event talked about; if they are they’re shrouded by the fear mongering phobic message carriers that explicitly report urban legends.
The real risk your children face on Halloween night is that of being struck by a motor-vehicle. Pedestrian accidents double on halloween night. I said double. Of course the idea of a one ton motorized hunk of metal, glass and plastic smacking our child at 40mph because Timmy’s ghost sheet impaired vision didn’t allow him to see the car coming doesn’t seem as intense or mentionable as the non-existent boogie-man currently lacing candy with lethal toxins does. The good news is we now know our child is not in any real danger of being poisoned. The bad news is that our child stands a better chance of being hit by a car.
We need to help our kids be conscious of actual dangers and not fill their heads with phobias of non-existent evils. If you want your child to be safe, speak to them about things that matter. Don’t manipulate kids with unsubstantiated tales of mad-men. They need to wear costumes that won’t impair their vision and be attended by a sober adult smart enough to look both ways before crossing the street.
If you’re going to be riddled with anxiety and want to pass along the very best anxiety to your kids then start obsessing over real threats and rehearse stories of actual mayhem. This will make your constant state of alarm seem more justified.