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No matter your age, Halloween allows everyone to put on that perfect costume and feel like a kid again! Here are ten tips for a comfortable, safe costume to withstand a night of trick or treating:

  1. Choose a costume that is unique, bright and reflective.
  2. Make sure base of the costume is short enough to prevent tripping.
  3. See that the costume is flame resistant.
  4. Only apply non-toxic make-up.
  5. Wear masks with holes big enough so there is plenty of visibility.
  6. Hats should fit properly and not cover eyes.
  7. Props should be small and should not have sharp points.
  8. Add stripes of reflective tape to easily spot your child’s costume.
  9. Be sure the costume is bathroom friendly.
  10. Put emergency contact information somewhere on the costume.

Showtime: The Big Night

  • A parent or responsible adult should always accompany young children on their neighborhood rounds.
  • Trick or Treat in the late afternoon or early evening.
  • If your older children are going alone, plan and review the route that is acceptable to you. Agree on a specific time when they should return home.
  • Only go to homes with a porch light on and never enter a home or car for a treat.
  • Children should stay in a group and communicate where they will be going.
  • Carry a cell phone for quick communication.
  • Remain on well-lit streets and always use the sidewalk.
  • If no sidewalk is available, walk at the far edge of the roadway facing traffic.
  • Obtain flashlights with fresh batteries for all children and their escorts.
  • Provide cell phones and teach children how to call 9-1-1 (or their local emergency number) if they have an emergency or become lost.
  • Never cut across yards or use alleys.
  • Only cross the street as a group in established crosswalks (as recognized by local custom). Never cross between parked cars or out driveways.
  • Don’t assume the right of way. Motorists may have trouble seeing Trick-or-Treaters. Just because one car stops, doesn’t mean others will!
  • Law enforcement authorities should be notified immediately of any suspicious or unlawful activity.

Taking Stock

  • Examine all treats carefully for unpackaged items, torn packaging, pinholes, off-color odor or questionable appearance when inspecting Halloween candy. If anything is suspicious about the treats, report it to the police. When in doubt, throw it out
  • Remember, all treats do not have to be consumed Halloween night. Save treats for the days and weeks ahead!

COSTUME FLAMMABILITY INFORMATION

Monsters and princesses and super heroes, oh my! Choosing a Halloween costume is just plain fun! The Halloween Industry Association (HIA) wants it to be a safe holiday too and offers tips to ensure fire safety. Costume flammability has received increased attention over the past few years. HIA encourages parents to purchase flame retardant costumes to protect their children.

When Shopping for Costumes

Children’s Halloween costumes are already stringently regulated under the Federal Hazardous Substances Act (FHSA),Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA) and the Flammable Fabrics Act (FFA) by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). They cannot and do not  present any unreasonable hazard to children. Manufacturers use government accredited laboratories to independently verify compliance to such requirements. The Halloween Industry Association (HIA) is confident in the results of those laboratories and the information provided.

Become an informed consumer by checking labels and knowing your materials. Look for costumes, beards and wigs labeled “Flame-Resistant” nylon or heavyweight polyester costumes are best. Cotton and cotton-blend fabrics will catch fire and burn more quickly than most synthetics. If the costume specifically states that it is “flame-retardant” on the package or the label, it is made of materials that inhibit or resist the spread of fire. HIA highly recommends that in addition to purchasing flame retardant costumes, parents also review the Stop-Drop-Roll burn prevention. All costumes can burn when exposed to an open flame or other fire sources.

If the package says “keep away from flame” or offers no warning or guarantee, it should be assumed that the costume’s material is flammable, and is not appropriate for a child.
If you plan to make a costume, use flame proof materials, treat with a flame retardant fabric spray, or use the following flame retardant solution recommended by fire departments:

Wash material and mix the following:
4 oz. Boric acid
9 oz. Borax
Dissolve in one gallon warm water
Soak costume, let drip dry

While the incidence of costumes catching fire is low, it does happen, and common sense should be used during Halloween festivities.

Other Factors to Consider

Keeping safe means being conscious of the environment. Trick or treat bags, paper accessories and extra long costumes are also quick burners and conduits for disaster. Since they are carried close to the ground, they can easily come into contact with candles and other open flames.

Whether strolling through the neighborhood or celebrating at home, parents should keep a close eye on trick or treaters when lit candles are present. In the home, candles should be placed out of the reach of children. When outside, children should be warned to keep within a safe distance of open flames.

With attention to detail, Halloween will be fun and safe for all.