October 20, 2009

Halloween Costume Safety Tips

Will you have goblins and pumpkins around your home this year, or perhaps Chicken Little? Whatever you decide on for Halloween party and trick-or-treating costumes, keep a few tips in mind when purchasing or making costumes.

If purchasing costumes, wigs, beards, etc., make sure that they are labeled as flame-resistant. Although this doesn’t guarantee that these items will not catch fire, it does mean that they will resist burning and extinguish quickly.

Avoid costumes with baggy arms, billowy sleeves, pontoon pants, or flimsy material so that contact with candles is minimal. You could avoid candles altogether by providing kids with glow sticks or battery-operated candles.

If you are going to have costumes with swords, shields, etc., make sure they are soft and flexible.

Make sure the eyeholes on masks are large enough that your child can see clearly
with full visionKids Halloween Costumes, and ensure that the mask securely fastens around his  head. Because masks can often block vision, you may want to consider using hypoallergenic makeup instead.

Have kids go out in sturdy, comfortable shoes. High heels for the Cinderella costume are not a good idea.

Make sure that costumes are short enough that kids will not trip over them.

Provide kids with flashlights for their trick-or-treat adventure. Glow sticks are also quite popular, and they’re great for making kids visible, but they don’t replace flashlights—make sure that your kids have enough light to see.

Make costumes that are light and bright and can easily reflect light. Make sure that they are clearly visible to motorists as well. Consider adding reflective tape or striping to costumes and treat bags for greater visibility. The above-mentioned glow sticks are great for that!

Have your child wear emergency ID information, especially if you will not be going with him.

--Lisa Kothari, Peppers and Pollywogs

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