3 Halloween Costume Hazards

When we think of Halloween, costumes and candy usually pop into mind. However, with all the fun, it’s easy to forget about safety.

Here are just a few tips from Jenna B., a child life specialist at the Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, to help keep your children safe during the Halloween festivities.

Jenna writes: As a child life specialist in the ER, I never quite know what’s going to happen on any given day…especially a holiday. When I worked in the ER last year on Halloween night, I saw several Halloween-related injuries. Among them:

  • A boy in a Star Wars costume who had accidentally poked himself in the eye with a plastic light saber
  • Another boy with a gash on his knee from tripping on his Superman cape
  • A girl who needed stitches on her forehead after tripping and falling on the skirt of her Cinderella dress
  • A boy who needed stitches on his chin from crashing into a wall while wearing a Spider-Man mask

From these injuries that I observed, there seemed to be three common “Halloween hazards” for kids in costume:

Tripping and falling over some piece of a costume.

  • Be careful if your child wears a costume that is overly baggy or contains a cape, cloak, or other long piece of fabric or loose ribbons or rope. That costume can be an accident waiting to happen.

Masks or other head coverings that obstruct vision.

  • It gets dark early at this time of year, so wearing a mask in the dark can lead to a painful collision with an unseen object. Encourage kids to use face paint, glitter, or stickers rather than covering their face with masks.
  • Also, add reflective tape to the fabric of your child’s costume.

Weapons such as swords, spears, or light sabers can be particularly hazardous.

  • If your child insists on carrying a prop with their costume, have them carry one that is rubber, plastic, or non-pointy so that it won’t hurt if they poke someone with it by mistake.
  • Tell them not to swing their props or aim them at other kids and adults.

And lastly, just in case of emergency:

  • In the inside of each costume, write your child’s name, your phone number and address, or make an ID bracelet to match the costume.

Have a happy and safe Halloween!!