Dodging ghosts, ghouls and gremlins gives kids enough to worry about on Oct. 31.
So to help maximize a more practical type of safety, the Winnipeg Police Service has issued the following tips for choosing a safe Halloween costume for your child:
• Proper fit — Avoid buying costumes that are too big, as costumes that are too long could cause the child to trip;
• Make sure the outfit is flame-resistant — Check labels to ensure it’s made of flame-resistant material;
• Keep the neck area clear — Avoid costumes that are tight around the neck area or have cords near the neck area. Also, avoid capes, as they pose strangulation risks and also increase the risk of tripping or snagging on objects;
• Masks can be dangerous — Masks can obstruct a child’s vision. When a choosing a mask, make sure it fits snugly on your child’s face and the child can see clearly when it’s on. Make sure the strings don’t pose a strangulation risk and that the child can breathe properly when wearing it;
• Read labels on face paint — Make sure all face paint is non-toxic and is meant for use on the skin;
• Choose safe accessories — Accessories such as plastic swords, wands and canes that a child could be carrying or wearing with his or her costume should be soft and flexible. Make sure these items have no sharp edges or points to prevent injury;
• Proper footwear — Choose footwear that is appropriate for the weather and fits the child properly. If the costume has a boot-cover accessory, make sure it doesn’t pose a danger of your child slipping or tripping;
• Reflection and lights — If the costume doesn’t have it, tape reflective material to the arms, legs, front and back of the costume. Also, give the child a flashlight to carry and if you’re going to be with the child, carry a flashlight yourself.