One of the best parts of parenthood is shopping for Halloween costumes for kids. It is a great tradition that is passed from generation to generation. How many memories do you have from your childhood of your favorite costume or trick-or-treating on that spooky night? With Halloween fun also comes a need for safety. Here are some tips to make sure your little one has a safe time Trick-or-Treating:
- Seek a costume that is bright in color. Trick-or-treating normally occurs at night, meaning there is a heavy volume of traffic on and off the sidewalk. Ensure your child is visible in dark conditions for both pedestrians and vehicles to see with a bright-colored costume.
- Aim for costumes that feature reflective material. To up the visibility, seek reflective material for your child's costume, even if it means dressing up your child in a bright orange safety vest lined with reflective borders on top of their costume. A cheaper alternative would be to stick reflective tape on your little one's costume or trick-or-treat pail. Don't forget that drugstores, dollar stores and Halloween retail stores also sell inexpensive clip on flashing lights, glow sticks and flashlights which should also be incorporate into your child's costume if possible.
- It's common knowledge that masks will block a child's vision. A child may try to downplay how well they can truly see due to the excitement associated with trick-or-treating, but keep in mind children don't truly understand the risks of a mask partially blocking their field of view. Always air on the side of caution and if possible, opt for makeup instead of a mask. If your child insists on wearing a mask, make sure he or she is accompanied by an adult or older child that does not have their vision impaired and will lead the child by the hand when crossing the street or walking on uneven pavement.
- Speaking of makeup, try testing the makeup you intend to use on Halloween on a small section of your child's skin. Testing a small spot ahead of time before Halloween will help ensure he or she does not have an allergic reaction.
- The right fit on a costume will go a long way to ensure safety. Your child needs to be able to walk and move freely in their costume (including the intended shoes). Avoid costumes that may cause your child to trip, get snagged, or may be hazardous around a flame.
- Have your child try on their costume a few nights before and have them spend an hour or two with it one while doing normal things around the house. This is especially good if the costume is homemade. The costume may be too hot or restrictive for your child. Knowing this ahead of time will allow you to change things up and avoid danger (and disappointment) on trick-or-treat night.
- Make sure accessory weapons or props feel and look harmless to the naked eye. Check swords and sickles for sharp edges and try to go for soft and bendable materials. When it comes to dangerous looking weapons such as guns and ammunition, it is vital that you select brightly colored neon toys that do not look in any way like real guns. In the recent past, many incidents have been reported in the news involving children that were hurt (or worse) by police who confused realistic looking weapons for real weapons.
Remember, safety first! Always plan ahead for Halloween and don't assume things will just work out. Being proactive will ensure your little one will have a memorable and spooky night!