Samaritan to X-ray Halloween candy

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Samaritan Hospital will X-ray Halloween candy for kids on Halloween night.

MOSES LAKE -After trick-or-treating Monday evening, kids can swing by Samaritan Hospital on their way home to X-ray their candy.

Samaritan started scanning Halloween candy as a courtesy to the community more than 20 years ago, said community relations director Connie Opheikens.

The hospital brings an X-ray machine to its lobby. Children dump their candy onto a cafeteria tray and a radiology technician puts it through the machine so children can see what's inside.

The most alarming thing the machines have found were two staples that had probably fallen off when someone stapled something to a piece of candy, said Opheikens.

"That showed up right away and we were able to take that out, but we've never found anything harmful other than those two staples," she said.

While the service gives parents peace of mind, it also exposes children to hospitals, said Opheikens.

"It gets kids used to coming to the hospital," she said. "If they have to come to the hospital and maybe they're going to have an X-ray, they might be worried ...We show them that the candy comes out just perfectly fine and if you have to have your arm X-rayed, your arm's going to be perfectly fine, too."

Occasionally, the radiology technicians will slip a plastic animal in with the candy so it will show up on the scan, said Opheikens.

"We try to make it fun for them," she said.

The hospital would like to see many more kids participate this year, she said.

Samaritan will be scanning Halloween candy from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday in their lobby, 801 E Wheeler Rd., in Moses Lake. The service is free to the public.

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