Check Your Children's Bags of Treats For a Safe Halloween

October 24, 2002
News Office: Wallace Ravven (415) 502-6397

The statewide California Poison Control System (CPCS) urges parents to follow these safety precautions to assure that kids enjoy the fun of trick-or-treating without running into hazards in items collected on Halloween.

Before Kids Go Out to Collect Treats:

  • Tell them to not eat treats until they return home and you have checked all items.

  • Reduce temptation to eat treats before returning home. Feed kids before trick-or-treating, or give them a snack from home they can eat while they are out.
  • Inspect All Candy and Treats

  • Candy that is unwrapped should be discarded.

  • Fruit treats should be washed and cut open.

  • Homemade treats should be discarded unless you know and trust the individuals who prepared them.

  • Small, hard pieces of candy are potential choking hazards for small children.
  • Signs of Tampering in Commercially Wrapped Candy:

  • Torn, loose, or punctured wrapping may be a sign of tampering. If you suspect tampering, this should be reported to local police.

  • When Not to Be Alarmed

  • Commercially produced candy may sometimes have color variation, lumps, or powdered sugar residue - all normal effects of the manufacturing and shipping process. To see photos of candy with these normal effects, go to This candy is safe to eat as long as the packaging does not show signs of tampering.
  • If your children become ill after eating Halloween treats, call the California Poison Control System at 1-800-222-1222.

    The California Poison Control System is a statewide network of trained experts providing immediate free treatment advice and assistance over the telephone in case of exposure to poisonous, hazardous or toxic substances. The CPCS is California's leading source of poison help and information to both the public and health professionals and is accessible, toll-free, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. The CPCS website is CPCS is authorized and funded by the State of California and consists of four divisions managed by the UC San Francisco School of Pharmacy. They are located at Valley Children's Hospital in Fresno/Madera, UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento, UC San Diego Medical Center and the UCSF-affiliated San Francisco General Hospital Medical Center. The CPCS also has two additional Regional Education Programs located in Los Angeles and Orange counties. The Orange County branch is hosted by Children's Hospital of Orange County (CHOC).

    This news release has been modified for the website