Halloween costume tips to keep your kids safe

BlogHer Original Post

Halloween is nearly upon us - that special day of the year when ghosts and goblins, super heroes and fairies come out for tricks and treats and a night full of fun. While it's an exciting time for kids, it's important for parents to take some precautions to insure the day is a safe one. According to statistics, children are four times more likely to be injured on Halloween night than any other night of the year. Falls due to ill-fitting costumes, vision and hearing obscured by masks, and dark-colored costumes are the main culprits.

The tips below can help you keep it safe as you work on assembling your costumes for Halloween this year.

General Halloween costume safety tips for kids of all ages:

  • Select light-colored costumes whenever possible. If you must use dark colors, put reflective tape on the costume to ensure nighttime visibility.
  • Your child’s costume should always be fireproof. Make sure there are no long capes, strings, or hems on the costume that your child can trip on. Long billowing sleeves are a fire hazard due to the large amount of jack-o-lanterns that will be on display. Never use a paper costume as they are likely to also catch fire easily. (Make sure your children know to avoid standing too close to lit jack-o-lanterns.)
  • Avoid masks (which make it hard for kids to see and breathe) and opt for non-toxic face paint or makeup instead. If a child must wear a mask, make sure the eye holes are big enough to see out of and ask that they remove the mask as they walk (or run) between houses trick-or-treating.
  • Having the proper shoes for a long night of trick or treating is essential. Always make sure their shoes fit well and are comfortable for lots of walking. Never allow your child to wear high heels with their costume. It is very important for their shoes to have the proper support to keep them from falling down and to keep them comfortable so they can enjoy their night.
  • Double check costumes for ease of movement. Ask your child to run through the backyard in his or her costume to make sure its not so long that it could cause tripping. For toddlers, make sure the costume isn't so bulky that it makes moving around difficult.
  • Make sure that costume props, such as wands or swords, are flexible, in case kids fall.
  • Put a nametag — with your phone number — on your children’s costumes.
  • Always have kids carry a light or a glow stick so cars will see them. There are also clip on lights that will easily fasten on their costume. As you chaperone your children make sure you are carrying a bright flashlight to illuminate their path so they can see where they are going.
  • If kids are older and will be trick-or-treating without adult supervision, be sure you know their route ahead of time and have them take along a cell phone.

Tips above are from:
Eco Women - Safe Halloween
Lorain County Moms - Keep Kids Safe with Smart Costume Choices
Star Costumes - Safe Trick or Treating: 16 Essential Tips for Parents

Green costume tips:

  • Many store-bought costumes and accessories contain toxic chemicals that not only are a potential hazard to your child, but also to the environment and the people who helped to make them. Choose fabrics such as cotton, wool and silk or make costumes yourself from materials you know to be safe.
  • Turn costume making into a creative and fun experience for your child. Hunt through the house, at neighborhood garage sales, or a thrift store (or consignment shop) for costume-worthy items. Enjoy the process and the product! If you’re not feeling creative, host a costume exchange.
  • Make your own face paints (tutorial @ Green Halloween)
  • Give your child a shakable flashlight (which uses no batteries and is powered by the shaking motion) to light his way.

Above tips from Healthy Child, Healthy World - 25 Green Halloween Tips!

Tips for dressing babies for Halloween:

If you are dressing up your baby for Halloween, you might want to take the following tips from SheKnows into consideration.

  • Choose a warm costume: In most areas it’s pretty chilly by Halloween. If you’re taking your baby along with older kids for trick or treating, make sure he’s warm enough. A costume with long legs and sleeves can help, as can a cute Halloween hat and socks. If you’re going to be inside, say for a Halloween party, make sure the costume is not overly warm for your baby, or get a costume that can be adjusted for temperature.
  • Go with a larger costume than you think you need: Babies grow super speed fast. If you buy a costume a month early, it could be too small by Halloween. Still, it’s smart to prepare early in my opinion, so just get a costume that’s a little bigger than your baby is now.
  • Baby costume safety points: Long strings, small buttons, patches that come off, and other removable parts can all choke a baby. If your baby is a walker, and he’ll be going out trick or treating with you, choose a brightly covered costume.
  • Choose a comfortable baby costume: Make sure your baby can crawl or walk easily in his costume (if he’s old enough), and make sure it comfortable to sleep in. Get a costume made with non itchy material and if possible one that’s tag-free.
  • Avoid costume drama: Make sure you find a costume that makes diaper changes easy. If you get a costume with a hat or hood it should be removable because many babies hate hoods and hats. Of course for parents, a machine washable costume is a huge perk.

Be creative, be green (if you can), be safe and have fun!

Related posts:
Green Talk: Halloween leaves me Hollow
@LisaBorden's Guide to being eco-ish over ghoul-ish this Halloween
Chic Mommy: DIY Halloween Costumes

Contributing editor Amy Gates blogs about green living, attachment parenting, activism and life with an anxiety disorder at Crunchy Domestic Goddess.

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