Parents in Indiana have been warned to be extra vigilant with any Halloween candy given to their young trick-or-treaters this year.
In a recent Facebook post, the Indiana State Police shared photos of seized holiday edibles featuring packaging that resembles that of actual name brands — but with the word “medicated” printed on the wrapper along with cannabis symbols.
“Parents, here is an example of what to look for in your child’s Halloween candy this year,” the post reads. “These were seized just this past weekend by one of our Troopers from the Lowell post. While they are packaged and marketed to look like candy, they are not.”
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“Please thoroughly check all candy and don’t assume it’s ‘OK’ just because it looks ‘OK,’” the post continued. “Thank you to Sgt. Glen Fifield, PIO for the ISP post in Lowell for this information.”
“The post was made as a reminder for parents to take an extra moment to carefully check their children’s Halloween candy because sometimes things aren’t always as they seem,” Capt. Ron Galaviz, chief public information officer for the Indiana State Police, told Fox News,
Another cause for concern: It remains unclear where these fraudulently branded edibles are manufactured considering neither are legitimate Starburst Gummies or Skittles, which are owned by Mars Wrigley.
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“These are not official Mars products as they were not created nor supported by the company,” a company spokesperson confirmed for Fox News. “We’re taking action to protect our consumers and are looking into the entity that is utilizing our brand names on these products.“
In a separate edible-related incident from last year, two children were given THC-infused gummies while trick-or-treating, according to police in Waterford, Conn.
THC is the main active ingredient linked to the psychedelic effects of cannabis – the plant from which marijuana is derived; and its affects could have a negative impact on children, according to The Journal of Pediatric Pharmacology and Therapeutics.
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The journal’s “Cannabinoids in Pediatrics” study found that although there are some clinical uses for THC and CBD for certain medical conditions, children have been increasingly ingesting these compounds by accident in recent years. Researchers who worked on the limited study took into account pediatric hospitalizations and poison control calls made between 2005 and 2011, and suggested the incidents could be connected to the decriminalization of marijuana.
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Patients of accidental ingestions experienced symptoms such as lethargy, ataxia and respiratory insufficiency. Only two instances required admission into pediatric intensive care units in that six-year span.
Aside from marijuana-related edibles and any other potential candy tampering, parents and children will have to deal with the coronavirus pandemic this Halloween.
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The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention encourage virtual celebrations over in-person gatherings.
However, for those who are adamant about participating in festivities, the agency advises social distancing, limiting close contact with surfaces and people, wearing face masks, washing hands regularly and being wary around food and drink packaging.