The Myths Of Halloween Safety

An interesting piece on Halloween paranoia in the WSJ notes:

…that there has never been a single case of any child being killed by a stranger’s Halloween candy. (Oh, yes, he concedes, there was once a Texas boy poisoned by a Pixie Stix. But his dad did it for the insurance money. He was executed.)

Regarding the sharp objects in Halloween, it’s a very rare occurrence (at best). Part of the reason is it hardly goes unnoticed before someone eats it for obvious reasons. In almost all cases the reports are a hoax. Of all the sharp object in food injuries only about 10 caused injury since 1959, none serious.

Now compare 10 injuries since 1959 to the following from the, the CDC:

As people’s participation in organized sport activity increases, so does the rate of sports-related injuries. Recreational activities, including sports, account for an estimated 3.2 million visits to emergency rooms each year for children aged 5-14 years. Injuries from organized and unorganized sports account for 775,000 emergency room visits annually for children in this same age group. Sports-related injuries are the leading cause of emergency room visits in 12-17-year-olds.

A child is much more likely to die or suffer a life altering injury playing sports or in gym class than from eating candy on Halloween.

To kill the idea of child molesters having a field day on Halloween:

Rarely were the offenders of young juvenile victims strangers. Strangers were the offenders in just 3% of sexual assaults against victims under age 6 and 5% of the sexual assault victimizations of youth ages 6 through 11.

Satistically more kids are abused by a parent or close family member. It’s also worth noting that cases of a close relative being the abuser are generally thought to be underreported.

It’s interesting how paranoia, misinformation and people’s inability to think rationally on their own have such a strong impact on society. An entire holiday is feared for nothing more than urban legends and misconceptions.