Halloween Costume Safety Tips

For Kids

Most children love the idea of costumes for trick-or-treating or parties. Keep Halloween safe by remembering these tips when assembling a costume:

  • Think flame-retardant. When purchasing, check the label. If you're making the costume, treat it with flame-retardant spray. In the excitement, it's all too easy to bump up against a lighted jack-o'-lantern.
  • Apply reflective tape to costumes, shoes and treat bags. And when resting with tired trick-or-treaters, choose a spot near the road, but not on it.
  • Choose comfortable, flat shoes. Children may walk miles to get goodies; surfaces may be uneven and visibility low. Minimize the chance of a fall.
  • Keep costumes snug. Long and baggy ones may cause a child to trip.
  • Beware of masks. They can be cumbersome and obstruct your child's view. Make sure the eyeholes are spacious. Better yet, use makeup.
  • Use hypoallergenic, non-toxic makeup. Unsightly, uncomfortable reactions take the fun out of dressing up.
  • Try the outfit ahead of time. Don't wait till the last minute for adjustments.

For Pets

You might say Halloween has gone to the dogs, judging by the number of them in costume! If your dog loves the attention a costume brings, choose one with these tips in mind:

  • Have the correct fit for your dog. Your pooch may trip over a loose costume or be unable to move comfortably if restricted by a tight one.
  • Function before form. Basic functions are your dog's main concern. Be sure your dog can breathe, move, hear and drink while in costume.
  • Keep I.D. attached. No costume is more important than a safe return home.
  • Don't leave costumed dogs unattended. Tangles happen, and when they do, you need to be there to help your dog.
  • Beware of candy. And not just on the ground. Don't use treats of any kind, including empty wrappers, to decorate your dog.
  • Know your pet. Playing dress-up isn't for all pets. If your pooch looks uncomfortable in costume, skip it.

More Homemade Halloween Costumes»

Source: Shannon Somers-Mueller, Country Woman magazine