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Dangers potentially lurk in Halloween baskets

graphic by india ingham

graphic by india ingham

LeopardLife Lindsey Hughes, Managing Editor

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While the sweets and sugar may fool some, various Halloween candy has been found to hold dangerous drugs or weapons. All over the country, many parents are concerned for their child’s health regarding their choices of doing drugs, along with being fooled by hazardous candies and sweets.

The issue of drugged candy started when people would shape drugs, usually ecstasy, into candy shapes and pass the hard candy out, causing the children to overdose or be harmed after eating them. The trend has evolved into razor blades, needles, and other sharp or hazardous objects being hidden inside bigger candies, fruits, and homemade sweets.

The most common drug used in candy that is purposely poisoned is ecstasy. In small amounts, this can make you hallucinate, and in overdoses, it can be potentially lethal,” Eric Wang, eighth-grade, said.

While leaving the house on Halloween, many parents or guardians are cautious for their child’s safety. These dangers can pose a great threat for trick-or-treaters everywhere. It can affect the health and well-being of the ones consuming the tainted sweets. In some cases, it may even cause death.

“I think students are threatened by these dangers [of drugs hidden in candy]. [My advice to stay safe on Halloween is] don’t take candy from random people off the street, people that aren’t in houses giving out candy,” Maci Perkins, eighth-grade, said.

Though the issue can be a dangerous subject to talk about, it gives some students and parents in the district a relief to know that the Lovejoy area can be viewed as a safe place. Still, many advise caution for students in a riskier situation.

“I think the Lovejoy district is very safe, but we should still be careful when eating candy. Any candy that can be opened and closed with ripped packages, tootsie rolls or lollipops, should be eaten with caution,” Elizabeth Esposito, seventh-grade, said.

WSMS faculty agree with Esposito. They say that because Willow Springs is a safe place, there is not as much of a threat to students here. While some debate that there is a risk of receiving the poisoned candy, others disagree, meaning that not enough people are hurt by the drugs to consider it a threat.

“We’ve never had an incident of someone tampering with Halloween treats. While there have been instances of tampering, these occurrences have been isolated and no one has been fatally injured,” Kay Bordelon, WSMS counselor, said.

While the possibility of children receiving and consuming the dangerous candy still stands, there have been solutions made to protect people who face this danger. Police officials found that many of the poisonous candy is a brightly colored hard candy, many of which are filled with ecstasy and can lead to an overdose. They advise young children and parents to look out for candy that looks like that and not eat it.

According to https://www.littlethings.com/halloween-candy-drugs-beware/amp/, any fruit given out should be opened up and checked before consumption. It states to only eat candy if it is in its original, sealed package. Homemade desserts are only to be accepted from known people of the person receiving.  

Different WSMS students have created their own ways to stay away from any poisonous candy on Halloween such as taking candy from strangers and checking their candy before eating it.

The red flags that should be unsettling for parents and children should be opened candy, weird packages, brands that aren’t common, rips in packages, homemade treats, and sharp objects in fruit. Strange colors or marking on the candy itself should be avoided and not used for consumption.

On the other hand, closed packages, common brands, treats from known people, and no suspicious markings or colorings on candy should be safe to eat.

Do not eat candy until you get home so you can inspect your candy carefully under a light or with a parent. During trick or treat time, only eat candy from those who you trust and know well. You should not accept homemade treats from strangers, stick to candy that’s commercially wrapped and labeled,” Wang said.

While many say that these problems do impacts the students at Willow Springs, others say they do not. Along with none in Lovejoy being injured from the candy, not many people outside of Lovejoy have either.

The faculty at WSMS gives advice for how to steer away from any candy that might be a dangerous threat to the safety of the students at Willow Springs but to also enjoy their time while out in the neighborhood on October 31.

“If WSMS students intend to trick or treat, here are some thoughts on staying safe:

– Always trick or treat with others, never go alone

– Carry a flashlight or lantern

– Don’t approach dark houses

– Trick or treat in your neighborhood where you know your neighbors,” Bordelon said.

graphic by india ingham

Whether the debate between the threat of dangerous Halloween candy stands or not, Willow Springs students are still warned

 to be cautious this Halloween when opening up their packages of sweets but to still have fun because that is what Halloween is for.

Bordelon also suggests, “When you return home, inspect your treats with your parents.  If something looks open, toss it out.  If you receive fruit or homemade treats and you are not sure who gave them to you, discuss their safety with your parents. Have fun!”

The choice of doing drugs can be an environmental effect or a choice. If students grow in a house where drugs are present or where other friends do drugs, it can greatly affect a person’s choice to do drugs. If not an influence to make choices of doing drugs, it can be the effect of a different cause.

The PALS planned Red Ribbon Week and a pep rally to encourage students to stay away from drugs. The week of October 23 is RedRibbon Week, and a themed week at Willow Springs. Students can choose to dress up at school to show their support to stand up against drugs.

The choice of not doing drugs can greatly impact the future of a student. While doing drugs can lose scholarships, remove job opportunities, not doing drugs can do the opposite. It has been proven that people who don’t do drugs, think more clearly. This is shown to give people an opportunity for a better future and life.

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Dangers potentially lurk in Halloween baskets