CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – Halloween is full of tricks and treats, but both of those can sometimes be dangerous to kids. That’s why the poison center is reminding parents to check their kids’ candy before they eat it this Halloween.
Parents should make sure all wrappers are closed and not tampered with. Officials also warned about glow sticks; while many children wear them to stay safe in the dark on Halloween night, they may end up chewing on them. The liquid from the glow stick can be dangerous when ingested or put on the skin.
Poison center officials also reminded parents that Halloween is a good time to have an open conversation with kids about the dangers of online dares. Online dares happen year-round but start to get more common around the Halloween season when kids have less time to go outside.
The latest dares floating around online involve eating hot sauce or spices. While a small amount of this can be harmless, parents should remind their kids that anything can be poisonous if enough is ingested.
A previous online dare that recently gained popularity was the tide pod challenge. The challenge involves kids eating non-edible laundry detergent packs. While it may seem obvious to adults to not eat things like tide pods, it’s not that clear to children.
Officials encouraged open conversations with kids about how to recognize and say “no” to a potentially harmful online dare.
“It’s really important to talk to them about how they’re dangerous so that they understand why you’re not just saying ‘no don’t do this,’” said Carissa McBurney, Community Outreach Coordinator West Virginia Poison Center. “You’re telling them ‘this is dangerous because this could hurt you’ or ‘it could raise your heart rate’, or ‘it could raise your blood pressure’, or ‘it could alter your brain and make you make decisions you normally wouldn’t’.”
McBurney said kids might be more inclined to do these online dares because of peer pressure or to try and gain more popularity online.
If an online dare does go too far, parents can call the free and confidential poison center at 1-800-222-1222.