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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!!