With Halloween just around the corner, millions of parents and children are already starting to ask the serious question: “What will I be for Halloween this year?”
But no matter what your toddler or baby will dress up as, safety should be a priority. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, there were 4,500 injuries related to Halloween in 2018. These ran the gamut — from pumpkin carving mishaps (the leading cause of injury) to burns from candles — but custom-related injuries ranked high on the list.
So as you’re planning your child’s costume this year, here are a few good safety tips to keep in mind:
1. Buy flame retardant fabrics. Burn injuries caused by Halloween costumes are rare — there have been less than 20 documented injuries, including one death since 1980 — but it’s still the law to buy flame-resistant costumes, thanks to the Flammable Fabrics Act. If you’re making a costume, be aware of potentially flammable materials in flowing robes, wigs, beards, and anything else that might come in proximity to a flame.
2. Keep a clear field of vision. Masks are awesome, but not if they make it impossible for your child to see. Look for costumes that don’t cover the face.
3. Go easy on the weapons. Got a knight-in-training in the family, or perhaps a budding witch with a wand? If your kid’s costume comes with a weapon — or anything that could be weaponized — make sure your child understands the rules. You can also buy foam accessories that are less likely to cause injury.
4. Heels? Not yet. Your little princess wouldn’t be royalty without tiny heels, right? Wrong. Avoid high heels or high wedge shoes for little children who aren’t used to walking in them. The same applies for oversized shoes: try to avoid putting your child in footwear that is awkward and then expecting them to walk around at night.
5. Be visible! This most applies to the actual trick-or-treating, but make sure your little ghouls and goblins are plenty visible to motorists with reflective tape or flashlights.
Reviewed by Dr. Kristie Rivers, September 2020
- In 2013, there were 3,000 injuries related to Halloween.
- The Flammable Fabrics Act requires consumers to buy flame-resistant costumes.
- Avoid high heels or high wedges for children who aren’t used to walking in them yet.