The fall brings the excitement of Halloween and trick-or-treating to all our young children. To ensure that October 31st is a safe and happy day here are some tips you can keep in mind before dressing your children in their costumes and sending them out for a fun evening of tricks and treats.
For your own piece of mind, it is important to know that your child's Halloween costume is safe. Whether you are making your child's costume, borrowing it, or buying it, there are some things to watch for. First of all, the costume should be the right size. Over-sized costumes will cause your child to trip and fall, especially when they are climbing the steps to the neighbors' front doors. Also, be sure they can see properly. Hypoallergenic make up is always a better choice than a mask. Some masks can obstruct your child's vision and also make it difficult for your child to breathe. If your child is wearing a wig with his or her costume, ensure it fits well. An ill-fitting wig will hang in their eyes, impeding their eye sight and may pose a strangulation hazard. This is also true of any ties that may hold a cape on or are attached to a hat. Anything that ties around the neck can be hazardous, especially to very young children. All costumes should be made from flame retardant fabric.
Try to choose costumes that are warm or can accommodate layers for warmth. In some climates it can be very cold on Halloween night and cold children are miserable children. If you live in a particularly cold area, a costume that has a matching hat and mitts is a good idea, particularly for infants and toddlers. Wherever possible try to dress your child in a light colored costume or have some part of the costume that is light in color. This makes it easier for drivers to see your child when they are crossing the street. Reflective strips on the costume and candy bag will also help keep children visible in the dark. Comfortable shoes and a sturdy candy bag with comfortable handles are also important.
Any costume accessories that your child wishes to carry, like a sword or a wand, should be safe and preferably attached in a safe way to the costume. It is difficult for young children to hold an accessory and their candy bag, especially when trying to hold the bag open to receive treats. Swords and wands can be worn on a belt or left at home to be played with later.
It is always the safest option to accompany your child on Halloween night. If you are not able to be with your child, their costume should have a pocket to hold a cell phone in order that they contact you in an emergency. Your child should have identification on them, also, if you are not going to be with them and should always be accompanied by friends or older children.