Cool Costume or Disaster Waiting to Happen?

halloween costume dangersFor many children, Halloween is the day of the year where they get to be scary, silly, pretty, or ghoulish yet some costumes might be more harmful than you think. How can you keep your kids safe in their costumes while still allowing for individual expression?

Watch Out for Flammable Materials

Good Housekeeping recommends reading costume labels carefully to make sure they are flame resistant. Reading labels alone, however, may not be enough. For example, if you make a costume at home, some materials are more flammable such as jute and acetate. Stick to polyester or nylon. Good Housekeeping also says to avoid all spray on glitter embellishments as these can also be flammable.

Make Kids Wear Sensible Footwear

It’s hard to say no to the high-heeled shoes your little fairy princess wants to wear but chances are she will fall and get cut or scraped. Instead, look for ballet flats or no-heel pink slippers that go with the costume. Similarly, high-heeled boots may be a must do for your little Captain Jack, but he could also fall causing his Halloween night to end early as you head to an urgent care center for stiches. Use stickers and other embellishments to help their more sensible shoes match the costume.

Be Smart About Masks and Scarves

Store bought masks are what your child may desire but in reality, they are hard to see out of. Without full vision ability, even if they’re carrying a flashlight, it’s hard to see through hard plastic masks. Skip the masks and let the artist within you create a face-painted mask. Tips for face paints include pre-skin testing to ensure your child isn’t allergic to the ingredients. Or try using brand name makeup to create the best “mask” look ever.

Your little Red Baron may want that scarf to blow in the wind, but scarves are also a danger. Scarves can get caught on trees, branches and shrubbery causing kids to trip, fall, or choke. Encourage your child to skip the scarf by adding a reflector badge to their costume and tell them it’s an airplane reflector.

Injuries from trips and falls, or rashes from Halloween makeup are common during this time of the year and many parents end up at clinics that offer family care doctors to treat scrapes, cuts, and allergic reactions.

Use Lights to Lead the Way

Beyond small mag flashlights, you can also buy Halloween-themed flashlights to keep their path bright and viewable. Other “bright” ideas include LED sticks and glow sticks. Keep costumes bright by adding reflector tape to the front, rea,r and on their candy bags or plastic pumpkin candy collectors.

Be Smart About Costume Size

If your seven-year-old wants to be a hobo, there’s no reason to use old jeans that are two sizes too big. Use bottoms that fit your child. A good idea is to use an older pair that is worn and then put holes in them to gain the hobo effect, or paint them with neon paint.

Girls who want to be princesses or witches should also wear costumes that fit them. Don’t put adult costumes on children. This rule goes for hats too because they can fall over their eyes blocking their view and again, falls could occur.

Armed with these five tips on creating smart costumes will make sure your child isn’t injured during trick or treating and keep you out of your nearby walk-in clinic for medical care.

About the author:

Jacob Anderson is a freelance journalist from Scottsdale, Arizona who writes for a variety of health and wellness blogs and periodicals.

One thought on “Cool Costume or Disaster Waiting to Happen?

  • October 30, 2013 at 6:49 am

    Wow… Sounds like you’re taking a lot of fun out a Halloween just in case your kid might accidentally get a bump or bruise. I have heaps of scars and got heaps of bruises and I am just fine, I never needed to be wrapped in cotton wool!

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