Very soon the leaves will begin turning and the air will have a crisp smell in some parts of the country. Other parts are waiting for the Santa Ana winds to start. All of these are signs that fall is here and Halloween is coming. There are already Halloween stores open in our town. It’s a good time to start planning what you want to do for that evening.
Costumes: There are still some children who come to the door wearing the type of mask and costume we wore when we were children. However, some imagination is also being displayed in the costumes, particularly those for older children (and some adults). That’s great, but there are some precautions.
Long, flowing skirts or tunics need to be hemmed so that they are not tripping hazards. Stepping up and down from curbs and stairs can cause a fall. They also have to be safe from flames in jack-o-lanterns.
Costumes have to be loose enough to prevent lack of movement in joints. I can tell you from personal experience that a costume that prevents movement of the knees is not safe.
Masks: Pretending to be something or someone else is a lot of fun, but there are a couple of cautions. First the mask shouldn’t block vision. The wearer needs to be able to see stairs and curbs as well as cars on busy streets.
Second, the mask needs to have enough of an opening at the mouth to make breathing easy. Asthmatics are particularly sensitive in this area.
Shoes: Cinderella and Ballerina costume wearers are not going to be thrilled if they have to wear sneakers it just doesn’t go with the costume. However, that may be the safest footwear for walking around a dark neighborhood. Ballet shoes and glass slippers are not going to be comfortable very long
Pumpkin Carving: Having an intricately carved jack-o-lantern is the delight of children and most adults. However, they also tend to require sharp objects to shape. There are kits that help in this matter, but parental supervision is a must, and some pumpkin designs may need an adult to do all of the carving.
Lighting Up: Remember putting a candle in the pumpkin so it would glow eerily? It was fun, but it can be hazardous. There are lights that can simulate a candle but is battery powered. That is a much safer step.
Candy: This tip is about the family pet, particularly dogs. Sugar free gum and chocolate candies are dangerous for pets. Once you’ve checked your child’s loot, make sure those are stored where the pets can’t get at them.
Halloween can be fun for everyone, but safety has to be a priority. With several weeks to prepare, you can set up the costumes and decorations for a magical evening.