How to choose safe kids’ Halloween costumes

Consumer Reports News: October 14, 2009 03:37 PM

Keep these safety tips in mind when choosing your child's costume this Halloween:

Buy costumes that fit. Don’t purchase ones that are flimsy, billowing, too big, o drag on the ground. Your child will be doing a lot of walking and might be climbing a lotof steps as well. You want to be sure her costume isn’t a tripping hazard and can’t get caught in Halloween candles.

Look for flame-resistant costumes. Make sure all parts of your child’s costume are flame resistant, including any masks and wigs. Polyester and nylon are oth flame-resistant materials but also look for the label “flame-resistant.”

Avoid dangerous accessories. Make sure that no part of your child’s costume—such as a sword, scepter, cane, or knife—is sharp. All should be made of a soft and flexible material. Some accessories can cause eye injuries and are best left at home. (Besides, you’d probably end up carrying your child’s sword, anyway.)

Check masks for proper visibility. Be sure your child tries on his mask before trick-or-treating. It should be secure and he should be able to breathe through it easily. The eyeholes should allow for full vision. Additional accessories such as scarves and hats should fit and be tied properly to avoid obstructing your child’s eyes.

Your princess doesn’t need heels. While high heels may make your child feel like a princess, keep them for dress-up rather than for Halloween night. She should wear shoes that fit well and are sturdy and comfortable.

Make you trick-or-treater visible to all. Choose bright- and light-colored costumes and clothing. You want to be sure motorists can see your child. Buy reflective tape at your hardware or sporting goods store and attach it to your child’s costume and candy sack. Give him a flashlight or glow stick to carry.

Learn more about halloween safety around the house and while trick-or-treating.

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