How to Identify Bad Candy

Halloween is a fun time for all. Yet, some parents may have concerns about their children’s candy. Everyone can enjoy their Halloween and be safe from bad candy. We put together some tips that will help you sort out your child’s candy. Remember to use great judgment. Each child is at a different age and may not be able to eat candy that older ones can. Do not be afraid to say no above all. For more tips visit the Channel Islands Police website for more tips on checking candy. Keep important emergency numbers on hand this holiday. Be safe, and above all, have fun!

Check Candy First

It’s important to explain to the children why they should not eat the candy before you check it. Although you may be with them during their trick-or-treating, they can sneak it fast. They need to understand the importance of checking candy. A good tip is to make sure they aren’t too eager. Give them something to eat, even if it’s candy that you know is safe in your own home. They won’t be so tempted to eat their treats right away.


People who are into the Halloween spirit may go above and beyond to make homemade treats. This is a judgment call for parents and guardians. Your child may get a homemade cookie from a well-known neighbor or another parent. They may receive these at a party or event as well. It’s up for the adults to decide if they will allow their child to eat it or not. It may be an easier decision when the homemade treat comes from a stranger. Remind the children the difference between trick-or-treating and taking candy from strangers. It’s a confusing concept and they may not get why the Halloween week is so different.


Some candy can look damaged or tamper with. These accidents happen a lot. You may want to toss those out. Other damage could be rips or snags in candy wrappers. Even wrappers that look like they have shoe marks on them or bite marks. Wrappers are there for a reason. Some candy may be re-wrapped. Some people will give out goody bags of different unwrapped candies. If any candy looks suspicious it should signal an alarm.

Double Check

When you get home, it’s important to check the candy in a bright place. Make sure to double check each piece as you give to your child or the whole bag at once if possible. You want to look out for any damaged candy discussed early. Some other things to look for are brands. Some may look weird or unfamiliar. Watch your child unwrap their candy as well. Be sure to double check that there are no weird colors or textures. Some candy is familiar and is recognizable.

Golden Rules

It can be confusing sometimes in determining what’s safe or what an appropriate amount is. Remember some golden rules to help you out. The first golden rule is, better to be safe than sorry. If you are not sure, then do not doubt your decision to give ‘no’ as an answer. There will be plenty of other candy for the kids. Another rule is when in doubt throw it out. Again, never doubt your decision to say no. And on that note, always ask yourself, Would you eat it? If not, don’t give in.