With Halloween just around the corner, parents taking their children out trick-or-treating for the first time might not know what to expect.
We turned to Officer Barron Dickson with the Bald Knob Police Department for some advice.
“Any kids going out need to be accompanied by an adult,” he said.
The Bald Knob Police Department will have every unit it can out patrolling the neighborhoods to make sure everyone is safe, Dickson said.
“We’re going to try to watch for the kids,” he said, “but the parents have to do their part.”
He said that in the past, Bald Knob hasn’t seen any problems with vandalism or candy tampering. Dickson said he doesn’t have children, but if he did, he would still check their candy before letting them eat it.
“I’ve been here since 2010, and I haven’t really seen any problems on Halloween,” Dickson said.
Doug Baker, emergency management coordinator for the Searcy Fire Department, said the biggest problem he’s seen in his 35 years of fire service is unattended candles placed in jack-o’-lanterns.
“People put them out and don’t pay attention to what they’re doing, and children play with them and cause fires,” Baker said.
Fire prevention is just a matter of being attentive, he said, along with watching your children while they are trick-or-treating.
“Make sure they’re safe in the streets, and always make sure their clothing is fire-retardant,” Baker said, “so you don’t have to worry about [the costumes] catching on fire.”
Dr. Mark Gustke, a pediatrician at Searcy Medical Center, said the most common illness he sees post-Halloween is upset stomachs.
“Kids eat too many sweets and suffer from nausea or vomiting,” he said. “They just need to take things in moderation, like it’s OK to have a small piece of cake, but not the whole cake.”
He recommended that parents refrain from letting children eat their spoils of trick-or-treating in their entirety but limit candy intake to just a handful.
Parents should also watch their children as they eat their candy to lessen the risk of choking, he said.
“Anyone with small children should avoid small hard candy,” Gustke said. “Jawbreakers or candy of that sort can get lodged in their throat.”
Staff writer Lisa Burnett can be reached at (501) 244-4307 or email@example.com.