Should Little Johnny be dressed as a mean pirate, scary vampire or fluffy teddy bear? Would Little Sara be happy being a pretty princess, wicked witch or feisty fairy?
Sure, the funkier the costume, the better it is. But there is another more important aspect that parents must not overlook when dressing their kids on Halloween. Here are some Halloween costume safety tips for kids.
Choose Fire Resistant Halloween Costumes
Candles and torches are used prominently in virtually every household on Halloween. So it’s important that children’s clothes and accessories don’t catch fire easily. Buy costumes made of fire resistant materials such as polyester or mod-acrylics. Avoid outfits with long trailing pieces that can be easily ignited. Costumes made of paper are an absolute no-no. Make sure wigs, hats and gloves are flame resistant too.
Parents should also remind children to stay away from open flames and other heat sources. Teach them the “Stop, Drop and Roll” approach. This means if their clothes are on fire, they are to stop immediately, drop to the ground and cover their faces with their hands and then roll over repeatedly to put the fire out.
Wear Outfits That can be Removed Quickly
Buy or make Halloween outfits that can be taken off within seconds in case of emergency like the costume catching fire or if the child needs to go to the bathroom in a hurry. Zippers, snaps and velcro closures often make it easier for young kids to remove their costumes quickly.
Buy Clothes That are Visible in the Dark
This is particularly important for children who are going trick-or-treating. They need to wear Halloween costumes that make them visible to motorists at night. Light colors are best. However, if the kids insist on dressing up as the Grim Reaper, Dracula with his dark cape or Batman, they will need reflective stickers or tapes on their clothes. Asking the kids to bring flash lights along will increase their visibility too.
Make Sure Costumes are Comfortable and Allow Easy Movements
Have a dress rehearsal to ensure kids’ Halloween costumes fit them properly and comfortably. Avoid high heels and floppy shoes. Comfortable and practical outfits and footwear are essential if the kids are going to be walking for hours while trick-or-treating!
Avoid wearing masks if possible as they often block vision and make breathing difficult. But if the child must have his mask, make sure it fits his face comfortably. Enlarge the holes in the eye, nose and mouth areas if necessary to allow the child to see and breathe easily.
Use Face Paint or Make-up Instead of Masks
Face paint or make-up is an excellent alternative to masks because it doesn’t block vision and breathing. However, be sure children’s skin is not sensitive to the paint or make-up. The best option is hypo-allergenic make-up. Test the make-up on a small area of the child’s skin and leave it on for a few hours to see if there is any negative reaction. Face paint or make-up must always be washed off before the kids go to sleep after their fun Halloween night.
Good Halloween outfits are not only cool but safe, comfortable and practical as well. To ensure Halloween costume safety for kids, parents should choose only costumes that have high fire resistance and visibility in the dark. The clothes must also allow children to move, see and breathe easily.