Many children and adults are putting the final finishes on Halloween costumes at this time of year, but many costume choices are anything but safe. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and other safety experts, there are many dangers present in some costumes. Some pose a burn injury hazard, while others are not visible enough and can put a child at risk of pedestrian accidents. There are many costume hazards that parents can avoid by following these safe Halloween tips:
1) Fit costumes well. Avoid costumes that drag on the ground or have long, dangling sleeves. Costumes that drag on the ground can make it easy for a child to trip and fall. Long sleeves and parts can cause a child to become entangled in the costume and can pose a choking hazard as well.
2) Consider costume shoes carefully. Some shoes that come with costumes are really meant to be worn indoors. On fall leaves, these can cause slip and fall accidents. With home made costumes, ensure that shoes fit well. Do not allow children to wear adult oversize shoes with their costumes – this can be a tripping hazard.
3) Ensure that child costumes are easy to see in the dark. Some ready-made costumes are made from lighter, reflective fabrics. If your child is wearing a darker costumes, purchase reflective tape at a hardware or sporting goods store and apply the tape to your child’s costume. Visible clothing can ensure that your child is visible to drivers at all times. As well, ensure that your child always carries a flashlight while heading out for Halloween. This can help your child see in the dark and can ensure that drivers can see your child.
4) If your child’s costume has accessories – such as swords or wands – ensure that these items are flexible and soft. Your child can accidentally harm another child in play with a play sword or accessory or can injure themselves in a trip and fall accident.
5) Ensure that your child can see correctly. Use face paint rather than masks with a costume, since masks can keep your child from seeing properly. Ensure that any hats or head wear that are part of a costume do not impede vision. Avoid costumes with veils or other pieces of fabric covering the head.