As Halloween nears, kids' talk turns to costumes. "What are you gonna be?" "I can't tell you what I'm gonna be!" Let them have their flights of fun and fancy, imagining or designing their own visionary get-ups. It's the parents' job to make sure the coveted costumes meet the following safety standards:
- Costumes should fit well and be non-flammable. Long, draping fabric can be a tripping hazard, and too-tight disguises constrict movement. Mark the inside of your child's costume with their name and phone number in case you get separated on Halloween night.
- Keep the weather in mind, as children may need to dress in layers to keep warm on a chilly night.
- Give masks a miss. They can restrict a child's vision and are tough on those with latex allergies.
- If a costume calls for makeup, test it out first by applying a small amount to a patch of skin on your child's arm a couple of days before the Big Day. Watch for any symptoms of an allergic reaction, such as redness, swelling of the area, or raised bumps, before applying to the face, and always be especially cautious when putting on makeup near the eyes. The same cautions apply to the use of glue for applying false beards or other accessories to the skin.
- Speaking of accessories, any play swords, daggers, brooms, or other ghastly costume add-ons should be made of a safe, flexible, non-poking material.
- Be sure your child's costume is easily visible. A trick-or-treater dressed all in black or other dark colours would not be easily seen by cars. Have them accessorize with a glow-in-the-dark or brightly coloured candy pail, or add some reflective tape somewhere on their costume. Carrying a flashlight or glow-stick would also alert oncoming traffic to their presence.
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