Halloween Costumes and Pain

Halloween should be a night that skews more toward the “treat” side of things than the “trick”. But accidents do happen, so take a few minutes to learn how to prevent pain and injury as a result of your child’s costume.

Visibility is a key issue for Halloween costumes: kids may want to be the sneakiest ninja or the darkest witch on the block, but costumes that make it difficult for drivers and even other pedestrians to see them exposes them to risk of being hit by a car or bike, or simply knocked around. One way to avoid this is to add reflective tape or a small flashing light pin to their outfit to increase their visibility.

Kids don’t just need to be seen — they also need to be able to see! Make sure masks, scarves, and wigs fit well and are adjusted so that they don’t obscure vision. You can also use facepaint instead of a mask wherever possible.

Take kids in an excited rush to get candy, add dark, crowded streets, and throw in long hemlines or shoes with a heel, and you have a recipe for a nasty fall and some scraped knees. Reduce the risk of a tripping hazard by adjusting hemlines so they don’t trail on the ground, and making sure shoes fit well; Halloween is not a good night for a girl to try out her first pair of high heels, and your young child may want the authentic over-large clown shoes, but if they struggle to walk it could be more dangerous than it’s worth.

Fit is important in other areas, too — costumes that are very billowy, have a lot of excess fabric, or feature long, loose sleeves pose some risks. They may catch on things like gates or doorways, but more importantly, they create a fire hazard around the open flames of a Jack-o-Lantern or decorative candles at a party. Make an effort to ensure that those princess sleeves and mummy bandages don’t flap around too much.  Fire safety is also a reason to look for costumes made  of flame-retardant material; this should be noted on the package.

Accessories like swords, wands, spears can make or break a costume; to make sure they don’t cause any other kinds of breaks, look for some that are made of soft, flexible material like foam or fabric, rather than plastic or metal.

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