In Weston and across South Florida, many children are looking forward to Halloween this year. The holiday often means dressing up in costumes for parties, school events, and trick-or-treating, but while this should be a fun experience, unsafe costumes can have tragic consequences.
Each year, children are at serious risk of injury because of their Halloween costumes, which can cause tripping hazards, contribute to pedestrian accidents, or can pose choking dangers. Before Halloween, make sure you check your children’s costumes for safety, whether you’re using store-bought costumes or home-made.
How To Reduce the Risk of Dangerous Halloween Costumes in Weston
As your children put the final touches on their Halloween costumes and you run through final fittings, this is a great time to check that costumes not only look great but are safe, too. Here’s how:
- Do the walk test: Have your child put on their costume and walk around. Costumes should allow for plenty of movement, should not be top-heavy, and should not have any hems dragging and posing a trip and fall hazard.
- Check vision: Can your child clearly see in their costumes, including clearly seeing to the side? Be wary of large hats and hoods, which can block visibility, and consider replacing masks (which can slip and obscure vision) with makeup.
- Add bright elements: Reflective tape and light colors make your child more visible for cars. Consider having your kids carry a flashlight or light to help drivers spot them.
- Buy quality makeup: Consider choosing theater makeup or regular makeup over inexpensive novelty makeup, which is unregulated and has been found in the past to contain lead, mercury, and other dangerous substances.
- Avoid novelty contacts: Teens love the cool-looking novelty contact lenses which make them look like their favorite movie and TV characters, but these are not always made to the same standards as the lenses you buy from an optical store. If your teens insist, contact your optical store for safe alternatives.
- Ensure a good fit: Clothes should not be too loose or overly large, since a poor fit can cause children to get caught up in decorations and even branches.
- Remove any dangling cords and hems: Long cords of any type can pose a strangulation risk while long hems at the wrists can pose a burn risk if children come into contact with any open flames.
- Check for sharp edges: Even plastic, fake swords or weapons can have edges sharp enough to harm a child. Look for spikes, chains, and any additions on costumes and check that they cannot pinch or cut the skin.
- Be aware of the flammability risk: Tests of Halloween costumes have shown they can go up in flames in seconds when exposed to high heat or flame. This is because manufactured costumes are often made from very thin materials or even plastics that can melt into the skin. Most Halloween costumes are not treated to make them more resistant to flames, either. While you may not be able to change the fabric of your child’s costume, do look for safer alternatives or use extra supervision to ensure your child stays safe in the costume.
The goal of Halloween is always to help children have a fun and “spooky” time, but poorly-made and defective Halloween costumes can put children at risk. If your child is injured by an unsafe Halloween prop or costume, contact Flaxman Law Group at 1-866-352-9626 (1-866-FLAXMAN) for a free consultation with a Weston products liability claims attorney. We can review whether you may have a claim.