Parents shouldn't be snickered into forgetting common sense during Halloween – Clay Today Online

This week’s crime report for Clay County Florida, provided by the Clay County Sheriff’s Office.
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CLAY COUNTY – According to Google, many children will come dressed as Spider-Man, a character from “Stranger Things,” a dinosaur, fairy, rabbit or pirate this year.
There’s also a greater …
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CLAY COUNTY – According to Google, many children will come dressed as Spider-Man, a character from “Stranger Things,” a dinosaur, fairy, rabbit or pirate this year.
There’s also a greater chance their candy could be tainted.
Unlike the days when parents were cautious about razor blades and needles in apples and chocolate-flavored laxatives, they now must be vigilant against the most serious of all scourges – illegal drugs.
While the risk is minimal – at best – Clay County Sheriff Michelle Cook said parents always need to use their common sense on Halloween. If so, the only thing they should worry about is sugar shock, tummy aches and cavities.
“Every Halloween parents need to do their due diligence and look at the candies that their kids have been given before they allowed are allowed to eat them,” Cook said. “They shouldn’t allow the kids to eat something they don’t know, something that’s not one of the traditional candies or seems to be in a weird wrapper. I would be hesitant to let my kids eat those for any reason. You know, if you get candies in a Ziploc or candies in some sort of nontraditional wrapping, I would probably pull those aside.”
There has been a lot of reporting in the past few months about how smugglers are disguising fentanyl as candy. The Drug Enforcement Administration, however, said the overwhelming number of rainbow-colored fentanyl is packaged as candy to elude law enforcement at the borders and not to be distributed as candy. Once in the United States, most is pressed into pills and not given away as candy.
“People see that and they’re like, ‘How could you say that children are not being targeted?’ But the fact of the matter is, in situations like that, mules or dealers or whomever, they’re using these candy boxes as a means to smuggle,” Dr. Stephanie Widmer, a medical toxicologist and emergency medicine physician in New York, told ABC News. “That’s not how they’re distributing them to kids on Halloween. It’s two different scenarios. I understand it looks bad and I understand it looks scary to see drugs in candy boxes, but people are not handing out candy boxes full of drugs. That’s just not the reality of what’s going on.”
Cook said the best line of defense is knowing your children.
“I think parents just need to be smart and use common sense and take a look at the maturity level of their children, their neighborhood,” she said. “If I’m in an established neighborhood that I know has sidewalks and good lighting, I’d probably give my kids a little bit more leeway than some of the neighborhoods that don’t have sidewalks or good lighting.
“If I’ve been in the same neighborhood for 10 years, I know all my neighbors and there are good sidewalks and lighting, then you’re more apt to let them run around a little bit on their own. It just goes back to parents using common sense. Parents are smart and they just need to go with what their gut tells them as far as their child’s safety.”
That means inspecting every piece of candy. If it looks funny, set it aside. If it’s obvious it’s been tampered with, parents should consider calling the sheriff’s office’s non-emergency number at (904) 264-6512.
Old lessons of safety should be followed, too. Children should travel in groups and in neighborhoods they know. They should be extremely careful crossing streets, and they should use flashlights or glow sticks to be more visible. Children wearing masks should be more careful since their vision may be limited.
Of course, there are other options for a safe night, like Trunk or Treats with family-friendly activities – and plenty of candy.
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