Halloween is a time for donning costumes, wearing masks or ghoulish makeup, and going trick-or-treating. While it is a most festive time for youngsters, dangers may be lurking in their costumes, their loot, or even your home décor. Many injuries can be caused by costume malfunctions and food poisoning. Road accidents may also happen. Heed caution during this season to ensure a truly fun-tastic Halloween.
Costume Safety: Beware what they wear
“There are a lot of do-it-yourself costume ideas on the Internet,” says Pauline Cauton, M.D., a physician and mom to Joaquin, 4, and Reese, 1. Her medical profession hardly gives her time for frivolities, but she never fails to let her kids celebrate Halloween with flair. “Sometimes, we go with the trend—characters Joaquin likes. He has to be comfortable in his costume so he won’t be in a sour mood.” Having a custom-made outfit sets her kids apart from the rest of the bunch. Joaquin won best costume one Halloween for this The Last Airbender Aang outfit complete with a shaven head.
Full-time mom Ria Lopez lets her kids, Lana, 10, and Enzo, 5, don hand-me-down costumes from their cousins. “They’re made of good material and look great. The best part is they’re free!” she exclaims, referring to Enzo’s Buzz Lightyear getup, which also bagged the best in costume award. “I pack extra clothes and footwear, so the kids can change once they start to feel uneasy in their costumes. I also bring water bottles so they stay hydrated,” she adds.
For merchandise manager Karina Vera, mom to Solenne, 7, and Lucas, 5, it’s all about ease. “Comfort is very important when wearing costumes, especially for younger kids. I just dig through their closets and create an ensemble from their existing garments and accessories. It’s more creative and fun that way.”
Whether you have costumes custom-made like Pauline, opt for ready-to-wear like Ria, or rummage through your tot’s closet like Karina, you must always consider costume safety. Choose flame-retardant fabrics such as nylon or polyester. Make sure the clothes and shoes fit your child properly. Check that they aren’t too loose or too long to avoid entanglements, trips, and falls. Provide your tot with safe accessories, especially when it comes to swords, spears, or axes. Secure his head gear firmly so it doesn’t fall over his eyes. It’s better to use non-toxic face paint than a mask which may obstruct breathing and vision.