Boo! Make Your Child’s Halloween Costume a Treat, not a Trick
The leaves are turning, the air is crisp, and the pumpkins are showing up on front porches. That can only mean one thing: Halloween is almost here. No holiday combines two of kids’ favorite pastimes — costumes and candy — so well. Before you send your favorite ghoul or goblin out to scare up his yearly chocolate allowance, run his costume through this safety checklist:
- Identification. For children under 12, label costumes with their name, address and phone number in case they get separated from their adult escorts.
- Reflection. Make your children easily visible to motorists. Add retroreflective tape and stickers to costumes, bags and sacks. Use or buy light-colored fabric or material that reflects better at night.
- Illumination. Flashlights should be part of every ensemble.
- Concealment. Face paint or makeup is preferable to masks, which can obstruct your child’s view of the street. If the costume is incomplete without a mask, make sure it fits securely and the eyeholes are large enough to offer unrestricted vision.
- Length. Make sure your child’s costume is short enough to keep him from tripping over the end of it.
- Kids’ shoes only. Adult shoes, while comic on little feet, make it a lot easier for kids to trip and fall.
- Soft props. Anything your children carry — such as toy swords and knives — should be soft and flexible. Anything sharp or rigid might injure them in a fall.
- Fire-safe materials. Look for (or use) flame-resistant material for all parts of your child’s costume (hats, fake beards, wigs). Avoid flimsy materials, billowing skirts and baggy sleeves, all of which can easily come in contact with open flames, such as lighted candles or jack-o’-lanterns.
Reviewed by: Patrick S. Pasquariello Jr., MD
Date: September 2012