Avoiding Halloween costume hazards

by Erica Surman

Halloween can be one of the most fun and memorable days of the year for most families. However, when you have masses of disguised kids, in the dark, running from house to house, trying to get to as many houses before the fun ends, there is also a potential for injury. This year, review these costume safety tips against your own children’s costumes to make sure that they have a great, but safe, time!

  • Avoid masks all together if possible. Masks can impair vision, as well as hearing, and those senses are especially important when being vigilant of moving vehicles. Have a football player, astronaut or Star Wars clone? Helmets from these costumes can be repurposed into trick or treat baskets!
  • Make-up can be a great alternative to a mask, but make sure to use them as directed, including testing as small spot on the skin a few days ahead. Make sure the product is FDA approved for intended use.

  • Choose lightly colored costumes to increase their visibility. If your child insists on a darker costume, add reflective tape or stickers to the costume and treat bag.
  • Falls are one of the leading causes of injury during Halloween; don’t let your kids wear costumes that are too big, or too long. Give a flashlight to each trick-or-treater! It will help improve their visibility and make them more visible to others.
  • Purchase only flame-resistant costumes and avoid long capes and skirts that can drag near candles in pumpkins and luminary bags.
  • Leave the hard or sharp edged props at home such as swords, broomsticks and fairy wands.
  • Decorative contact lenses are not over-the-counter-merchandise; they must be dispensed by a licensed eye doctor. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration warns consumers of the risks.
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