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How can I choose a safe costume for my child?

Halloween is a lot of fun for kids, but it can also be risky. Kids must be careful when trick-or-treating, but parents must also make smart choices when shopping for costumes. Some costumes can be hazardous and may even increase a child’s risk of injuries. Consumer Reports explains what to look for and what to avoid. 

Long dresses and robes may pose a tripping hazard, especially if your child is out after dark. Long, flowing materials can also catch fire if your child encounters a Halloween decoration with a candle. Along with choosing a costume that fits correctly, also look for those that say flame-resistant on the label. If your child is wearing a mask, make sure it doesn’t obscure his or her vision. 

While it seems relatively harmless, face paint is also associated with quite a few risks. Some children may be allergic and could experience a serious skin reaction after it’s applied. Many brands of Halloween face paint are not subject to FDA review, so there’s no real way of knowing the exact ingredients in the paint. If you plan on using it as a part of a costume, look for a brand that is properly approved and evaluated by the FDA. 

More elaborate costumes may involve colored contact lenses. These lenses are not recommended, as they can cause serious eye irritation while being worn. They can also cause damage to the eye if placed incorrectly. They can even lead to infections if they contain germs and bacteria that are transferred to the eye. Contact lenses should only be prescribed by an optometrist to lower the risk of vision issues.