Be afraid. Be very afraid.
That's the Halloween message from healthcare experts about two common but little-discussed potential hazards associated with the holiday.
Specifically, black licorice is a possible danger for people at risk for heart ailments, according to the Food and Drug Administration. Big kids over 40 years old, according to an FDA advisory, could require hospitalization for an irregular heart rhythm or arrhythmia if they eat as little as 2 ounces of black licorice daily for two weeks.
The health risk stems from the sweetening compound from the licorice root, glycyrrhizin, which can drop potassium levels and lead some people to experience abnormal heart rhythms, high blood pressure, swelling, lethargy and congestive heart failure.