It’s that time of year again—when you walk into the department stores, discount stores and grocery stores and all you see are miles of crepe paper, rows of candy and aisles of costumes. Your child’s eyes light up as she heads for that perfect costume.
Making that costume safe for your child to wear can be a challenge.
“Costumes should be fun for your children, but combine them with a few safety features as well,” says Laura Fitzmaurice, MD, Chief Medical Information Officer at Children’s Mercy Hospitals and Clinics and Professor of Pediatrics at the UMKC School of Medicine.
Here are some tips for kids’ Halloween costumes:
- Avoid dark colors. Children in light and bright costumes will be easier for drivers to see.
- Add reflective tape to costumes so they shine in a car’s headlights.
- Costumes, including masks, beards, wigs and hats, should be made of flame-resistant material.
- Avoid costumes that are too big for the child and may cause accidental falls.
- Avoid costumes with large capes, which can get caught on something or cause your child to trip.
- Have children wear shoes that are sturdy and the correct size.
- Make sure masks fit properly and do not obstruct the child’s vision. Have your child wear it on top of his head when crossing the streets. Cloth masks and head coverings can slip and inhibit breathing.
- Try a natural mask of non-toxic makeup or face paint.
- Hats should be tied securely to prevent them from slipping over children’s eyes or flying off and sending children chasing after them.
- Dress up the flashlight. If you somehow incorporate the flashlight into the costume, your child will be more likely to use it. Be creative!
- Finally, have your child try on her costume and check it for fit and mobility. A snip of the scissors here and there can greatly improve movement.
“Halloween should be a fun time for children,” Dr. Fitzmaurice says. “They love to dress up, and by following these guidelines, the holiday can be fun and safe.”
For more howling good Halloween safety tips, recipes and even a Halloween party preparation video, check out our Halloween Safety site.