The Dos and Don’ts of Halloween Costume Safety
When you are your child are preparing for Halloween, do follow our tips and don’t ignore safety.
DO: Make your child easily visible to passing cars.
DON’T: Rely on flashlights alone.
The number one Halloween hazard is kids being hit by cars because children are twice as likely to be struck by a car on Halloween as on any other night. In addition to supplying parents and children flashlights, opt for a light colored costume and accent costumes and candy bags with reflective or glow in the dark tape. If your child is wearing a coat, add the tape to that as well. Reflective tape will glow in the beams of a car’s headlights making your child easy to spot.
DO: Ensure costumes fit well and properly.
DON’T: Dress them in long, baggy or loose clothing.
If a costume is too long and is dragging on the ground, children are not able to move freely and are more likely to trip and fall, which can result in injury or strangulation. Additionally big, baggy sleeves or billowing skirts are more likely to be in contact with candles or other fire sources.
DO: Dress them in costumes made of flame-resistant material.
DON’T: Mistake flame-resistant for fire proof.
Fire retardant fabrics will resist burning and should extinguish quickly. While flame-resistant materials burn less easily and can be put out quickly, they can still cause burn injuries. There have been at least 16 cases in which children under 15 years of age suffered burn injuries involving Halloween costumes since 1980, including one death, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Because even flame-resistant costumes can still catch fire, ensure your child’s costume has less of a chance to be in contact with candles and other fire sources. Avoid costumes made with flimsy materials and fabric that hang down, like a cape.
DO: Use face paint rather than a mask.
DON’T: Assume your child’s face mask is safe.
If you do choose to dress your child in a costume with a mask, make sure it fits properly and allows them to see and breathe easily. Check their mask for proper eye, nose and mouth opening because improperly fitted masks can interfere with your child’s vision or breathing. Another option is to skip the facemask and use nontoxic face paint for your child’s costume instead.
DO: Ditch the costume accessories so your child has a free hand.
DON’T: Allow your child to use accessories that are not soft and flexible.
It is best to leave your child with a free hand, so they can hold someone’s hand when crossing the street or catch themselves if they fall. If your child’s costume does include an accessory, make sure it is soft and flexible.
Halloween is a time of increased excitement and safety risks for children. By following these simple DOs and DON’Ts you can make sure your family does have fun and doesn’t have any safety concerns.