MOUNTLAKE TERRACE, Wash. - As parents get ready to take their kids trick-or-treating for Halloween, new dangers around the opioid epidemic in Western Washington like needles on the streets and stickers laced with drugs serve as a reminder to parents to check what kids collect in their Halloween candy bags.
Brothers Jordan and Riley, who have already got a collection of candy from some early trick-or-treating are getting a head start with mom Megan Therson on checking candy for potential dangers.
Therson says her boys know they are only allowed to eat candy when they are back home and she has checked it.
“We come back home, and they dump their bags out and then we go through all of it, sort it out and I go through all the wrappers and make sure there aren’t any tears or pinholes or opened candy,” said Therson.
She says she is never found anything in all the years her boys have gone trick-or-treating, but it’s part of the world she lives in and dangers are out there and she needs to be careful as a mom to keep her boys safe.
“It’s a bummer, I don’t feel like we had to be as cautious when we were kids,” said Therson.
Halloween candy sales are expected to break records this year, with needles around Seattle and new dangerous trends like Halloween stickers laced with fentanyl, Pat Murakami with the South Seattle Crime Prevention says parents can’t be too cautious.
“It’s a different world,” said Murakami. She says even taking the most basic steps helps protect children from running into needles.
“You want to make sure your kids are wearing good shoes in case they do come across something like that,” said Murakami.
Other parents say staying near your kids is a must and lighting their way to stranger’s homes is always smart. “I have some LED running lights and will use glow sticks,” said one Seattle dad.
It may be a different world for Therson than when she was a kid, but for her boys who are excited about costumes, "Lego Batman," said Therson’s son Riley, and “A cop,” said Jordan.
Therson says she would much rather spend the time looking for dangers in their candy than have them get hurt.
“Halloween is supposed to be fun for the kids, and that takes the fun out of it, but I’d rather have them be safe than get sick or injured.”