Lt. Kevin Russell, Benton Police spokesperson gives some tips for families partaking in Halloween festivities tonight.
Halloween is a special time of year for both you and your children. The children get to enjoy dressing up and eating lots of candy and you are left with a lifetime of great memories about the fun they had. We at the Benton Police Department want to help you ensure that they are safe while out there trick-or-treating so we have made a short list of things to consider before going out on Halloween night.
One of the most important things to teach your child is to not talk to strangers, especially when they are by themselves. Tell them to never get into a car or go into a house of anybody they don’t know and trust. This is a lesson that they can use in everyday life and not just on Halloween.
Help your child pick out or make a costume that will be safe. Be sure to make sure that it is fire resistant and make sure the eye holes are large enough to give them good peripheral vision.
Be sure to accompany your children when they go trick-or-treating or send them with another responsible adult you trust, such as a family member. This is especially important for younger children.
Make sure your child carries a glow stick, flashlight, or has reflective tape on their costume to make them more visible to cars.
If you have older children going out with friends, make sure they know to stay with their group and to stay in well lighted areas.
It is usually best to stay in familiar neighborhoods and when possible try to go to houses where you know the people who live there. If going to a home where you don’t know the residents make sure the home is well lit and keep your child in view at all times.
Although tampering is rare, it is possible and you should always hand inspect all candy before your child eats it. If anything looks suspicious about the wrapper on the candy, play it safe and just throw it away. Instruct your children not to eat any treats until they bring them home to be examined by you or another adult.
Go over some mock scenarios with your children to teach them what to do in various situations should they encounter a stranger or other problem. Be very serious when doing the scenarios so they will take it serious.
There is always concern about sex offenders in our community this time of the year. If you have any concerns about where they are located you may search the statewide registry at www.acic.org/soff/index.php  or if you live in Benton you may search the sex offender section of our website at www.bentonpolice.org 
The excitement of children at this time of the year will sometimes make them forget to be careful. By following these simple tips and using common sense you can do a lot to keep your children safe and happy during this Halloween. Be safe out there.