At first blush, it seemed like the Nanny State was out to ruin another childhood tradition.
This time, it seemed the Fun Police were planning to stomp out the practice of throwing candy at parades because one or two kids out of millions might have gotten hurt diving for a Tootsie Roll tossed from a fire truck.
But in this case, it's not so much the Nanny State as it is common sense that's at the heart of a call to discourage the throwing of candy into the streets during parades.
It came to light this past weekend when Saratoga Springs police advised participants in the popular Elks Flag Day Parade to hand out candy, or toss it from a short distance, so as not to entice kids into diving into the path of parade vehicles and horses. Police said a child was nearly hit by a vehicle during a parade last year, and they wanted to avert a potential tragedy.
Kids will be no less delighted being handed a piece of candy than they would be diving into the middle of the streets for some. And curbing the practice might give parents of little kids and the drivers of those vehicles some peace of mind.
No laws or ordinances are needed to ban candy-throwing. Parade organizers throughout the region should just make it a regular practice to notify all their participants about the potential dangers of throwing candy and to offer advice on how to safely distribute it.
No one is going to suffer any loss of fun or tradition by toning down the candy-throwing. Sometimes, it's just good sense to mind your Nanny.