Survey Says 83 Percent of Parents Check Their Kids’ Halloween Candy

Fun & Fabulous

Survey Says 83 Percent of Parents Check Their Kids’ Halloween Candy

61% of parents don't let their child eat all of the candy

How old is too old to go trick-or-treating? Should parents let their kids eat ALL of their Halloween candy? Is it still common to check candy for dangerous items – or is that a thing of the past? To find out how parents deal with the tricks – and treats– of Halloween, Redfin surveyed 1,000 parents and asked how they feel about the time-honored tradition of trick-or-treating.


Keeping the little ghosts and goblins safe is a huge priority for many of the parents Redfin surveyed—with 82.85 percent saying they check their children’s candy for anything dangerous before they let them eat it. Once the candy has been given the tasty stamp of approval, it turns out that 62.21 percent of parents admit to secretly eating their children’s candy! That’s a stat that would horrify most children if they ever found out.

Blakely Minton, a Redfin real estate agent with two kids, has her own safety tips for anyone heading out to trick-or-treat this year. “We always go as a group and try to stay within neighborhoods that we are familiar with, since we know the people in those communities. We also use glow sticks or stickers that act as reflecting lights so it is easy to keep track of everyone as it starts to get dark outside. As for the candy, I will go through it and throw out anything that is already open… and anyone who says they don’t secretly eat their children’s candy is lying!” she said.

A child can dress up as Peter Pan all they want but everyone has to grow up eventually, which means growing out of the Peter Pan costume… and trick-or-treating. Out of parents surveyed, 36.96 percent think a kid’s trick-or-treating days are over by the age of 16 and 26.47 percent say that kids 14-15 should stop trick-or-treating. Bummer. But until then, a lot of parents wonder about what age a child should be able to go trick-or-treating on their own; 35.70% of parents think it is OK to let their child trick-or-treat alone by ages 12-13 and 19.40 percent of parents think it is OK for kids ages 14-15 to trick-or-treat alone.

One of the best parts of Halloween for parents (besides all the leftover candy) is seeing all the kids dressed in cute costumes. The survey showed that 65.16% of parents plan on handing out candy this Halloween.  But not every parent is letting their kid eat all of their winnings—61.07 percent said they don’t let their child eat all of their Halloween candy.

So where does all of that sugar go? Most parents said they will either donate it, bring it to work, give it to a teacher for the students, share it with family members or (gasp!) throw it away. Giving away their hard-earned Halloween candy can be the scariest part of the holiday for any kid, so many parents gave their child a toy in place of allowing them to keep all of the candy… saving their child from tooth aches AND tummy aches.

One modern resource is changing the way some parents trick-or-treat with their children—18.59 percent of survey respondents said they check the sex offender registry before trick-or-treating with their kids.

Do you plan on trick-or-treating with your little ones this year? Tell us your tricks for keeping them safe and happy in the comments below!


SurveyMonkey fielded an online survey from October 17 and October 20 that reached 1,213 people from the general population in the United States who indicated that they had children under the age of 18 to provide results on their thoughts regarding Halloween and their children’s participation in trick-or-treating. Of those 1,213, 1,150 completed the survey.

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