Halloween is an opportunity for children and adults alike to dress like their favorite characters from television shows, movies, books, and many other places. It is a fun and lighthearted holiday that is enjoyed by many on an annual basis, but in and amongst the fun and silliness of Halloween lie some safety concerns that should be considered before heading out on October 31st.
When choosing a costume, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends to avoid masks because they obscure vision. When crossing streets and walking on sidewalks, good sightlines are essential to keeping little ones safe, so anything to obstruct those sightlines is not advised. It’s also important to look for items that are fire-resistant. The use of makeup and face paints is a common portion of a Halloween costume, and the AAP encourages testing small areas of the skin first to make sure there will not be a severe reaction. They also warn to check labels for nontoxic makeup, and users should remove any makeup and paints prior to going to sleep to avoid skin irritation.
Once you’ve got the right costume, plan out your route for trick-or-treating. If going with little ones, make sure that an adult is with the children at all times, and do not allow them to run across the road. It is also important to be mindful of the vehicles on the road. If children are a little older and ready to embark on their own, sit down with them to map out a route that you are both comfortable with, make sure there is an understood curfew time, remind them not to go into houses or get into cars with anyone, and encourage them to stay in well-lit areas. It is also a good idea to add reflective tape to their costume or candy bucket or send them off with a flashlight or glow sticks.
Halloween is meant to be fun and should be fun for trick-or-treaters and for the people passing candy out. Just remember to be mindful of your surroundings as you walk on sidewalks and through neighborhoods, be aware of safety concerns when choosing a costume, and have fun.