Celebrate Your Child!


Oct 4, 2011

Are your kids' Halloween Costumes Safe?

We want our kids to have fun during Halloween, but have you thought about the safety of their Halloween costumes? Most of us want our children to wear cool costumes when trick-or-treating, but neglecting a kids’ Halloween costume’s safety can turn that experience sour.

Are your kids’ Halloween costumes too dangerous to wear? Find out if those Halloween costumes are safe to wear, tips for buying safe kids’ Halloween costumes, and how your children can wear cool costumes without sacrificing safety.

Are Your Kids’ Costumes Really Safe to Wear?
The answer is yes and no. In 2001, the Disney Store recalled 54,000 Princess Ariel costumes after one girl received burn injuries. Keep in mind that kids’ Halloween costumes are required by law to use flame-retardant materials.

Another problem is ventilation in full-masked Halloween costumes. Most costumes don’t provide enough ventilation for kids to breathe, resulting in carbon dioxide poisoning. If your child wants to wear a mask, nose holes aren’t enough. Carbon dioxide builds up over time, causing your anxious child to faint from the lack of oxygen. You want your child to wear a well-ventilated mask to prevent any nasty side-effects.

Another lesser problem with kids’ Halloween costumes is visibility. This isn’t just about how well your kids can see; it’s also about how well people see them. A mask limits visibility. If little Joey can’t see where he’s going, he’ll trip and skin his knee. If costumes aren’t visible after dark, people — more importantly, vehicles — won’t see the kids’ Halloween costumes, blindly running over happy trick-or-treaters. Halloween costumes aren’t all bad news, however. Carefully selecting your kids’ costumes and preparing it for night wear eliminates these catastrophes.

How to Select Safe Kids Costumes for Halloween

Before buying your kids’ Halloween costumes, you’ll want to make sure it’s safe!

Here are some guidelines:
All kids’ Halloween costumes are required by law to use flame-retardant materials. You can’t depend on companies adhering to this law, however. Pick clothing that fits well and doesn’t hang. If your child wants to wear a cape, make sure the cape isn’t long. If your child wants to wear a dress, make sure it doesn’t drag on the ground. People love to decorate during Halloween, and some decorations include fire. If a loose costume accidentally brushes against this, it won’t be a happy Halloween!

Masks should be well-ventilated. Masks should have multiple ventilation areas with big holes, such as hockey masks. Most masks have little ventilation, so skip these kids’ Halloween costumes if you can. If your child insists on looking like their favorite masked character, use makeup instead.

Make sure that the mask’s eye holes are big enough. Holes should be twice the size of your childís eyes. Make sure the mask lies flat on their face. If you can, stay away from dark clothing. It decreases visibility. Don’t pick anything that covers their face, such as a messy wig.

Once your kids’ Halloween costumes are selected, you’ll need to prepare it for night wear.

How to Make Your Kids’ Halloween Attire Safe

There are two ways to prepare your kids for a safe Halloween outing:

- Use reflective tape. This can be bought in most stores. Place two strips on your kids’ shoes and two strips on their Halloween costume. These strips shine in the dark and alert drivers.
- Have your kids carry a flashlight. If your kids don’t like it, find a flashlight with a strap. They can hang it from their wrists and keep it out of sight.

Of course some kids won’t like your safe ideas. Some kids want to wear full-face masks when trick-or-treating. Some won’t like wearing reflective tape. So how do you make your kids happy without sacrificing safety?

Getting Your Kids to Celebrate Halloween Safely

Getting your kids to like your safe ideas is difficult.

Here are some suggestions:

- If your child insists on wearing a full-face mask, have your child wear it around the house for a while. Chances are your child won’t want to wear it any longer this Halloween.
- Does your child refuse to wear reflective tape on their Halloween costume? Put it on their bag instead.
- If your kids insist on long clothing, have them wear it around the house. They’ll get tired of it and opt for another kidsí Halloween costume.
- If your children still refuse to wear safe kids' Halloween costumes, talk to them about why it’s important to stay safe on Halloween. Illustrations or stories are very effective with younger children.

Again, it’s always important that your kids are safe this Halloween season, so start with their kids' Halloween costumes. Make sure their costumes fit snugly, are marked with reflective tape, and don’t interfere with their visibility. It’s important to make the kidsí Halloween costumes safe so they have a happy, safe Halloween — a great Halloween you and your kids will remember for years to come.

JS-Kit Comments