Halloween can be a great time of fun for kids and adults alike. In order to make sure it doesn’t turn into a “not-so-fun” trip to the emergency room, here are a few things to keep in mind when dressing the kids up:
1. Make sure that they can be seen. I don’t care if your child wants to dress up like Dracula, make sure that it’s a reflective Dracula. Trick or treating takes place at dusk or in the dark in a lot of areas of the US, Cars are out, driving around and if they can clearly see your child the odds of an accident just jumped greatly. Think reflective stripes, lighted shoes, anything that will increase their visibility.
2. Speaking of shoes… opt out of the shoes that most often come with the costume. Don’t allow your cinderella to walk the neighborhood in “glass slippers” all night. Instead, have her carry the shoe and wear good quality shoes with traction. Slips, trips and falls occur all too often.
3. Pay close attention to the costume they’re wearing. Making sure that there is nothing that can cause strangulation (e.g. capes are especially dangerous!). Pass on costumes with plastic or non-breathable materials that could suffocate. Pay close attention to accessories as well. Your little guy may want to go around as a warrior but that sword he’s carrying can be dangerous both to him as well as to other children.
4. Masks can obstruct views as well as make it difficult for children to breathe. Let you child know that when he or she is walking they need to remove the mask to be able to see clearly where they are going. They can always slip it back on right before they ring the doorbell but you don’t want them walking around half blind for the night.
5. Make sure that the costume is made of flame resistant materials. There are a lot of open flames on Halloween night (pumpkins lighted with tea lights, for example) and many materials can easily catch fire.
6. While we’re on the topic of costumes, make sure that the costume you child is wearing fits properly. Loose fitting costumes can get caught on branches and other obstacles and cause your child to fall or worse strangle.
8. Always go trick or treating with your children. You can stay in the background if they’re of the age that they don’t want you right there with them but make sure you can see them at all times. If they think that they are old enough to go trick or treating alone, without an adult, let them know that when they are old enough to go alone, they are too old to go trick or treating. If they grow up with that rules and understanding it won’t be an issue as they get older.