Seven Tips for Safe Halloween Costumes

Childrens Halloween costumes

Next to Christmas, Halloween has become one of the most child-centric holidays of the year. Many children start dreaming up their costumes months in advance. Sometimes they change their minds at the last minute, after Mom or Dad has created form from their kids' imaginations.

To a child, Halloween seems like a game of dress-up with the whole neighborhood involved. Unfortunately, a carelessly executed costume could cause your child more harm than all that sugar will.

Keep the following tricks in mind to ensure the night is nothing but a treat for your children.

  • Make sure costumes fit properly. This seems like a no-brainer, but costumes purchased on a whim or thrown together in a hurry from things around the house could be too long and cause a fall. A costume with sleeves that fit poorly could prohibit arm movement, or get caught on shrubbery or loose boards and become a strangling hazard.
  • Masks obstruct both vision and breathing. Makeup is a much safer alternative. As an added bonus, you or your child's creativity with face paint will make for a one-of-a-kind costume, whereas masks are mass-marketed.
  • Your child's costume may be enhanced by the use of props. If they are not already carrying a glow-stick or flashlight and a candy bag and a cell phone, you can make or purchase costume accessories. If - okay, when, horseplay develops, cuts and bruises will not.
  • If you opt to make your child's costume at home, consider using reflective or bright fabric or paint in the design.
  • Choose a flame-retardant costume, if possible, when purchasing a pre-made costume. There will be a lot of candlelit jack-o-lanterns and homemade luminaries lining the walkways and encircling front doors.
  • Your child must wear shoes that fit well, and are appropriate for the weather and the terrain, regardless of whether the shoes match the costume. Kids will fuss, but they will be less likely to develop blisters, or to twist or break their ankles, unless they forget the following tip:
  • Walk, don't run. Of course free candy is exciting, but keeping a reasonable pace allows your kids to notice and react to obstacles before they become hazards.

The best safety tip, of course, is to be with your child as they go on their candy quest. It is not always possible, and you don't want your fifth-grader feeling like he dressed up as a Momma's boy for Halloween, in front of all of his friends. Running all of these safety rules by an enthusiastic group of trick-or-treaters is as easy and painless as removing an in-grown toenail.

One fun way to broach the subject is by using a game. If you're looking for a way to keep the conversation light and fun, there are several worksheets and game ideas available online. Just use your search engine of choice and enter the search term, halloween safety.

A little attention to your child's costume will go a long way toward making the night more enjoyable for all of your trick-or-treaters.

Have a fun, happy, and safe Halloween!

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