Halloween Safety Tips

Last modified: February 7, 2017

Halloween is just around the corner! Do you have your costume(s) picked out yet?

Perhaps you don’t “do” costumes yourself anymore, but you have young children and…they sure do!

As you get ready to make or purchase a Halloween costume for your child, keep in mind these safety tips for the big trick-or-treat day itself.

• Keep any “sharp” accessories, such as swords, knives for your pirate, or Jedi Knight, soft and flexible. And short.
• Yes, it may “ruin” your child’s costume and, yes, you’ll probably get a ton of push back from your youngster, but make sure you place reflective tape on the costume itself. Better the “look” of the costume be “ruined” rather than your child’s life because a car didn't see him or her in time.
• Never let your youngster go out and about on Halloween alone. If younger than 12, she shouldn't go without adult supervision, even if going in a large group of children. Teens 13 and older may be able to go on their own, but make sure you know each and every one of the kids your child plans to trick-or-treat with.
• Make sure your children walk (not run) from house to house. This is especially important if their pants or skirt are longer than they’re used to wearing, or they’re wearing big shoes of some sort.
• Always bring a flashlight with you as you go from door to door. And use it.
• Opt for makeup instead of a mask, if possible. Masks can limit how well your child can see. Try the makeup out before the big day, to see if it irritates your child’s skin. Insist that your child wash his or her face before going to bed. You can promise your child you'll reapply the makeup if his or her school is allowing a day for wearing Halloween costumes.
• Don't let your child eat homemade treats, unless you know the people who made them well. There are, unfortunately, some nut cases out there who think it's hilarious to put something in popcorn balls or caramel apples that can harm a child.
• Make sure your child's costume is flame retardant. Aim to steer clear of candles and luminaries that may line a sidewalk or walkway.
• Limit how much candy your child may eat during trick-or-treating and/or at home afterwards. Tummy-aches can and do occur if one eats too much of the sweet stuff too quickly.

Most of all, have fun!

Speaking of fun, the “in” costumes for Halloween 2016 for children probably will be Dory and Nemo costumes (from the movie Finding Dory), the characters from the animated movie Frozen (yes, the kids STILL go crazy over Frozen), characters from the television show Once Upon a Time, as well as the summer blockbuster Suicide Squad. Hmm, we see a big movie-based Halloween theme here….

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Lisa is an independent author and writer living in Williamsburg, VA.

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