How To Have a Happy - and Safe - Halloween
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1. Consider makeup (but make sure it's nontoxic) instead of a mask, which can obstruct children's vision or restrict breathing. If they do wear a mask, make sure they can see and breathe easily.
2. Make sure your child's entire costume (including beards, masks, and wigs) is clearly marked as flame resistant, or look for flame resistant fabrics such as nylon or polyester. Avoid costumes made of flimsy materials and outfits with big, baggy sleeves or billowing or long, trailing features to minimize the risk of contact with candles or other sources of ignition.
3. Choose costumes that are light-colored and more visible to motorists. Remember to use reflective tape on costumes and sacks so children will be clearly seen. Also equip each child with a flashlight or glow stick.
4. If your child's costume has accessories, make sure they are soft and flexible to avoid possible injury.
5. Hem the bottom of your child's costume to make sure it is not dragging on the ground. Children should wear well-fitting, sturdy shoes, too. This will help prevent trips and falls.
6. Illuminate jack-o-lanterns with flashlights or glow sticks. Avoid candles as they can pose a danger for trick-or-treaters who may come in contact with the open flames and ignite their costumes.
DEBRA HOLTZMAN, J.D., M.A., has a Master's degree in occupational health and safety and is an attorney. She has been featured on NBC's Today Show, MSNBC, WABC, and Discovery Health Channel. Her newest book is The Safe Baby: A Do-it-Yourself Guide to Home Safety and Healthy Living (Sentient Publications, June 2009). For more information: www.thesafetyexpert.com.
Here at NYMetroParents, we've got everything you need to have a safe, fun, and festive fall and Halloween season. Whether it is pumpkin or apple picking, getting lost in a corn maze, making Halloween crafts or finding costumes and decorations, we're here to help.