By ANTHONY STONE
Sunday Times Newspapers
Halloween is a time to make memories, but it comes with its share of safety concerns.
Local police departments are warning parents to watch out for drug-infused candy this season. Cannabis, psilocybin — mushrooms — and most dangerously, fentanyl, are all popular drugs used by dealers to get children and teens addicted.
“We are advising parents to tell their kids not to accept any homemade treats,” Trenton Deputy Chief Jake Davis said. “Our main concern, with marijuana being legal, is that someone mixing up their edibles with candy and they distribute an edible to a child.
“Only take those treats that are factory packaged. If they do find a treat that is already open, or looks a little suspicious, just go ahead and throw it out.”
Fentanyl targeting children is also known as “rainbow fentanyl,” brightly colored pills that look like candy. Fentanyl pills are commonly snuck into what looks to be Skittles or Nerds packaging.
In September, DEA agents seized fentanyl-laced pills in 21 states, including Michigan. Dealers are using social media apps like Snapchat to connect with young consumers.
The drug can be up 50 times more deadly than heroin.
Parents are advised to check for torn packages or holes in packages in their children’s candy.
The chance of a child being hit by a car is higher on Halloween than any other day of the year, according to kidshealth.org. Police recommend that children 12 and under trick-or-treat with an adult. If not, children should carry a cell phone and go with a group that stays together.
Also, children should have a planned route they use to go home. Everyone in the group should know how to call 911 if they get lost. It’s safe to visit only houses that have their porch lights on.
As for costumes, it’s best to wear something light and easily visible at night, according to the Product Safety Commission. Or, add glow-in-the-dark tape to the trick-or-treat bag and costume. Oversized costumes and shoes present a tripping hazard.
Having flashlights with new batteries is safe and children should be encouraged to wear glowsticks as necklaces or bracelets.
According to the FDA and eye doctors, people should avoid wearing decorative, colored eye lenses. They are unregulated and illegal for stores to sell. Without a prescription and an eye exam, eye disorders, infections, and permanent vision loss are possible.