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Is your child's Halloween costume safe?

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Halloween has become a time-honored tradition for kids to stay out late, dress in amazing costumes and get candy from the neighbors. Children talk for weeks about who or what they want to be for Halloween and what their costume will look like. As a parent, you may spend the days before looking for the last piece that will make your child's costume perfect.

Halloween can also be a dangerous time. Most trick-or-treaters do not start walking the neighborhood until after dark and many costumes can be difficult to walk in and hard for drivers to see.

Watch for costumes that drag on the ground

There are any number of reasons that a costume might drag on the ground. Anything from monsters to mermaids could have pieces that can cause a little one to trip. While it may not be a big deal in the yard, a child rushing across the street could fall in front of a car without enough time to get up.

When shopping for costumes, you might be tempted to buy a size larger so that the kids will be able to pass it down to a sibling, use it next year or simply play dress-up. This can be dangerous. An oversized costume poses a greater risk for trips and stumbles.

Before going out trick-or-treating, have your children try on their costumes. Make sure they have plenty of room to walk easily. If they do not, a few well-placed stitches in the costume could prevent a painful fall.

Wear reflective materials

Kids are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car on Halloween than any other time. Most drivers know to be especially cautious and watch for kids running around on Halloween, but some costumes are easier to see than others. Your child can still be safe dressed in dark colors as long as they are wearing some reflective materials so that they are easier to see.

Make sure children are wearing a reflective piece of clothing that is big enough and bright enough for an oncoming car to see. This is not the time for something small. Drivers already have a tough time seeing children because of their size. A significant piece of reflective clothing can make children much easier to see.

Avoid masks

Face masks can be tricky. Especially on children. Often, they do not fit well and can get pulled in the wrong direction. Masks are also troublesome if your child were to fall. Plastic masks can break and cause injuries to the face and eyes.

When possible, opt for face paint so that children can see as much as possible while they are out. Be careful, however, to keep paint away from the nose and eyes. Paints may be non-toxic, but they can still cause pain if they get into the eyes.

If your child must have a mask to make their costume perfect, check that they can see clearly through their mask. Also make sure that it fits properly so it does not move when your child turns their head.

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