Source: The Corydon Democrat

Safety of trick-or-treaters in parents' hands

by Alan Stewart

November 05, 2013

Few points of discussion have come close to M&M’ing (melting and messing-up) our Internet server like last week’s topic of whether or not to reschedule trick or treating in the town of Corydon.

The makeshift four-day festival known as Halloween 2013 will go down in history as the longest holiday in the Milky Way, becoming more than half as long as the week-long Harrison County Fair.

The forecast called for — and Mother Nature delivered — gusty winds and rain that started Tootsie Roll’ing through about the time trick or treating began; but the Town of Corydon went against the grain of several Southern Indiana cities and towns that rescheduled their trick or treating by keeping the date scheduled for Halloween night.

Some parents believed town board members were being a bunch of Sour Patch Kids and that sugar snatching should have been changed either to Wednesday, Friday or Saturday for better weather and for the safety of children, who parents say could have been hurt by falling tree limbs, causing them to see Starbursts and perhaps resulting in a big Pay Day for someone. Other parents Snicker’ed as they remembered the Almond Joy they felt when they were younger and how they would Skittle down the street as they went out to fill their Halloween bags rain, snow or shine.

The Hot Tamales on our Facebook page, among other things, called the folks on the Corydon Town Council “disappointing,” “stubborn,” “behind the times,” “cranky folks sitting in offices hoping to give out less candy” and a couple of other comments that had to be deleted due to vulgarity. Some people even believed the suckers on the board could be liable if any injuries to children were to occur due to the youngsters being outside during possible storms.

As we can now reflect, to the best of our knowledge, no one here was swept away by flash floods filled with Swedish Fish, no one was struck by lightning and no child died from being hit by a falling tree on 5th Avenue. Overall, the weather turned out to be a big fat Milk Dud as the bad storms didn’t arrive in Harrison County until about 11 p.m., some three hours after trick or treating was supposed to end.

If the town had $100 Grand invested in some sort of scheduled Halloween activity, the decision to maintain trick or treating on its already-scheduled date would have made perfect sense. It didn’t, so it’s disappointing that Sugar Babies had to march throughout the town searching for candy with a goody bag in one hand and an umbrella in the other.

Disappointing, yes. Catastrophic or tragic? Not hardly.

After seeing the negative feedback to the decision and the questioning of safety for the children, I posted a query on Facebook as to whether or not it was up to parents or to the town to keep children safe for trick or treating.

To my surprise, most people said it was up to the parents.

The Twizzler is, if that’s the case, then why did many of the same parents who said the town should move trick or treating also say it was up to themselves to keep their children safe?

It almost makes you wonder if the trick or treating is for children or for the adults.

To parent means it’s OK to tell your child “no” or “not this time” every now and then. The last thing you ever want is to be a Tear Jerker and disappoint your child, but sometimes it must be done. Yes, Halloween is a time-honored tradition and it’s fun to get free candy, but not going trick or treating on its designated night due to the weather wouldn’t keep the world from spinning.

For those who refuse to say no to their child (don’t get me started on that topic), there were countless alternatives to Thursday night trick or treating. Churches had trunk or treats, other towns had trick or treating on other nights, stores in Clarksville and Louisville had trick or treating, Walmart in Corydon had trick or treating, the annual Halloween parade, where people handed out candy left and right, took place five days prior to Oct. 31 and Fall Down on the Square was a week before that. Oh, Henry, there was plenty of time and places to get candy!

Or, for those Jolly Ranchers who decided to brave the not-so-bad elements and still go on a candy-hunting Spree, chances are every little Mike and Ike got Mounds of extra goodies due to the lower-than-usual turnout.

As parents, we are charged to make sure our little Sweet Tarts have a positive experience. If that means hopping in the car and traveling to another town on another night, then so be it. If it means bundling up in an extra layer or two and hiding that cute little princess costume or our little IT Nerds because of the rain, that’s OK, too. The Air Heads we Kiss each night will still get waaaaay more candy than they need.

The bottom line is some parents need to Take 5, come down from their Pixy Stick sugar surge and get a new grip on reality; sometimes things (like the weather) won’t be perfect. They can either accept that fact, recognize other opportunities and go for them, or they can sit on the sidelines and whine like a Baby Ruth about it while the rest of the world moves on and sifts through their Smarties.