Halloween Costume Safety

When we think of Halloween, costumes and candy usually pop into mind. However with all the fun it’s easy to forget about safety.

Here are a few costume tips from Jenna B., our guest blogger and child life specialist at Children’s Hospital in Minnesota.

Jenna writes: As a child life specialist in the ER, I never quite know what’s going to happen on any given day…especially a holiday. When I worked in the ER one Halloween night, I saw several Halloween costume-related injuries including –

  • A boy in a Star Wars costume who had accidentally poked himself in the eye with a plastic light saber
  • Another boy with a gash on his knee after he tripped on his Superman cape
  • A girl who needed stitches on her forehead after tripping and falling on the skirt of her Cinderella dress
  • A boy who needed stitches on his chin from crashing into a wall while wearing a Spider-Man mask he couldn’t see out of.

There seem to be three common “Halloween hazards” for kids in costume:

  1. Costumes that are too big or baggy.
    • No overly-large or baggy costumes – they cause tripping! If kids do have big costumes, consider cutting and trimming if they are overly baggy. Watch if they have a cape, cloak, a long train or loose ribbons or rope. This can be an accident waiting to happen.
  2. Masks or other head coverings that obstruct vision.
    • It gets dark early this time of year, remember that wearing a mask in the dark makes it even harder to see. This can lead to a painful collision with an unseen object. Encourage kids to use face paint, glitter, or stickers rather than face-covering masks.
    • Consider adding reflective tape to the fabric of your child’s costume so cars have a better chance of seeing kids.
  3. Swords, magic wands or light sabers.
    • While accessories make the costume, they can be dangerous – particularly if your kids aren’t looking where they swing the magic wand or light saber.  If your child insists on carrying a prop with their costume, encourage them to carry one that is rubber, plastic or non-pointy, so that won’t hurt themselves (or someone else!) by mistake.
  4. Extra tip: And lastly, just in case of emergency –
    • Inside the costume: Write your child’s name and the best phone number to reach you at.  Or, match the costume with a cool ID bracelet that has this same info.

Have a happy and safe Halloween!!

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