Lenore Skenazy caught a lot of heat last year when she wrote about letting her 9-year-old son ride the New York City subway alone.
Now Skenazy is at it again, debunking a Halloween myth:
I'm letting my kids eat unwrapped candy.
They can eat any homemade goodies they get, too, and that unholy of unholies: candy where the wrapper is slightly torn. And on the very off chance they get an apple, they can gnaw it to the core, so long as there's not a razor-sized, dripping gash on the side.
Before you call Child Protective Services on her, know that she did her research.
(T)he fact is: No child has been poisoned by a stranger's goodies on Halloween, ever, as far as we can determine. Joel Best, a sociology professor at the University of Delaware, studied November newspapers from 1958 to the present, scouring them for any accounts of kids felled by felonious candy. And... he didn't find any.
Good for her. Halloween provides a perfect opportunity to the scolds who try to scare us to death over nothing.
Our fears are so overblown they'd be laughable if they didn't sound so much like the fears that are haunting us the rest of the year...
If you want to see what childhood is becoming, look how at what Halloween has already become: A parent-planned, climate-controlled, child-coddled, corporate-sponsored "event," where kids are considered too delicate to even survive the sight of a scary costume.
- Scare Stories