Tips for Choosing Safe Halloween Costumes for Kids

By | October 12, 2011

Did you know that kids are 4 times more likely to be hit by a car on Halloween night than on any other night of the year?  Halloween can be so much fun for kids, but unfortunately it can also be downright dangerous if you don’t take the time to choose a safe costume. Costumes that make it difficult to see or be seen in the dark are tragedies waiting to happen. Here are a few tips for choosing safe Halloween costumes for kids to help ensure they have a magical night.

  • Choose a costume that is easily visible at night. Costumes that glow in the dark are ideal. For increased visibility, add reflector strips to the front and back to ensure that your child can be seen by approaching traffic. No matter what costume your child chooses, it is also a good idea to have your child carry a flashlight, especially if they will be trick-or-treating in areas that do not have street lights.
  • If the costume comes with a mask, make sure that it doesn’t impair vision. Don’t just rely on the child’s word, put the mask on yourself and see if you still have a full range of vision. If you have trouble seeing, so will your child.  Enlarge the eye holes or opt for face paint instead.
  • Choose only flame retardant costumes, wigs, and hats. Lit torches and candles are in abundance on Halloween night and children are naturally curious.  All Halloween costumes for kids should be clearly labeled as flame retardant. If it doesn’t say it is, don’t buy it. Better safe than sorry.
  • Check that the costume fits properly and is not too long. A robe or cape that is too long is a tripping hazard and could put an early end to your child’s Halloween fun. Use a sewing machine to shorten the length.  If you don’t sew, safety pins can provide a quick fix.
  • Choose comfortable shoes for the costume. While they may look perfect with that princess costume, Halloween night is not the time for your little girl to be wearing heels. In addition, some costumes come with shoe covers that can also be a tripping hazard. No one will be looking at their feet, so make sure they are wearing good-fitting tennis shoes.
  • If you are in an area of the country where it is cold on Halloween, choose a costume a size bigger so that your child can wear a jacket or long underwear underneath. Be sure to hem it if it is too long around their feet.
  • Any accessories, like swords, should be soft and pliable. In case the child trips; you don’t want them to be injured by the accessory itself because it is sharp and inflexible. Costume accessories that are made of foam are great.

By following these guidelines when picking out Halloween costumes for kids, you will have peace of mind that your child will be visible to cars passing by and will be less susceptible to any hazards the night brings. A little consideration in choosing the costume now will help ensure a fun, and safe, Halloween night for everyone.

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