Halloween will make your child scream (36132)
Halloween will make your child scream (36192)

Well, here it is again: Halloween, usually celebrated on Oct. 31 before All Saints Day. It is observed especially by children who masquerade in costumes and go door to door collecting and ingesting foods and candies that contain high concentrations of sugar, food colorings and other chemicals. Those little bags that they carry around with them and fill up with treats, given so generously just by knocking on a door, may be a danger to their health and personalities. In fact, they may take on the characters of the costumes that they are wearing.

Dr. Benjamin Feingold, a noted allergist, has shown that food additives and sugars can cause behavioral and other learning problems. These behavioral problems may include an inability to concentrate and restlessness, which could contribute to difficulty with school work. The treats may also contain artificial colors and flavors, along with preservatives such as BHA, BHT and TBHQ. In addition, the added colors may contain sulfites, which can cause an acute asthma attack.

Other concerns one must be aware of is the fact that children should not eat anything or take as a treat things that are not individually packaged. It has been reported that unwrapped candies may be contaminated by E. coli from unclean hands. Fruits, such as apples, grapes and pears, should be washed thoroughly before being consumed. Monitor the treats that have been collected. There are some scary people out there who might place unwanted chemicals in edible foods. These are scary times.

As you take your child from house to house, it may be more important to take them during the daylight hours so you can observe their surroundings more keenly.

I recall that, when I was a child, many of the above precautions were not even thought of by trusting parents. Today, times are different, and an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. I would strongly advise that many Halloween activities be celebrated at home, in churches and schools, where games and play can be supervised.

In closing, make your Halloween a safe and enjoyable one for the little ones you love and want to protect.