Monday, October 31, 2011

Let's Talk About Candy...and Love, Sex and Relationships!

As I sit here at my desk on October 31st I’m reminded of a few things. First, Syracuse basketball season is right around the corner! In fact, it may be that fact that prompted me to rifle through my closet and don this get up for work today.

But, on to more important reminders… those about the safety of our children tonight, on this night of ghouls and goblins and tainted Halloween candy. To be clear I want you to advocate for the safety of your child tonight – stay only in well lit areas, get back in the house before dark, don’t wear dark costumes and walk in traffic, and for heaven’s sake don’t take candy from strangers! My friends who are parents will undoubtedly be having these and other conversations tonight. I can assure you that I will be if I’m ever so fortunate as to be a parent someday.

Yes, yes emergency rooms will be abuzz scanning packs of skittles and mini-snickers for needles, broken glass and other dangers. But, did you know that over the past 50 years or so there has been exactly one (ONE) reported case of candy tampering on Halloween night – and that was actually a premeditated act of a trick-or-treater's father. Here’s a 2009 story from with some more information to the same effect in case you don’t believe me.

So maybe tonight (and every night) we should focus on the real dangers facing our young people… maybe it’s time to recognize that the chance they have sex as a middle school student (almost 1-in-5) or the chance that they have sex before they graduate from high school (about 7-in-10) or the chance that they get pregnant before turning 20 (nearly 4-in-10) ALL FAR EXCEED THE CHANCE (about 1-in-1,000,000,000,000) THAT THEY ARE POISONED BY CANDY on Halloween night!

Love, sex, and relationships… now there are some important topics we need to be conversing about with our children, not running from like we’re being chased by a Halloween ghost!

By Forrest L. Alton, CEO, SC Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy

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