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Gwynn Cassidy

Former Executive director at The Global SHE Initiative

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kid in a costume

5 Costume Safety Tips for Your Little Ghost or Goblin

Family & Caregiving

In years past, Halloween was one of those holidays I could take or leave but, this year, it's different. Now that my son is almost 2 1/2, he's old enough to enjoy dressing up, trick-or-treating and pumpkin decorating.

In an effort to get a costume I knew he'd be enthusiastic about wearing, I had him pick it out. How did I get a 2-year-old to choose his own costume? We browsed an online costume store together while he pointed out the outfits he liked best. Once he was done, I narrowed the possibilities. I selected a handful of costumes he liked that (1) I felt he would still be excited about by the time Halloween came around and (2) met my criteria–choices needed to be flame retardant, warm enough for a chilly afternoon and not include a mask.

Once I was done, we had four options we could agree on. The winner? DJ Lance from Yo Gabba Gabba. If you're about to go through the costume selection process as well, follow these five tips to finding a safe and suitable costume:

TIP 1: Dress your little prince or princess in a bright costume. If the costume is dark, add reflective strips or give your child a glow stick or flashlight to carry.
TIP 2: Be sure the costume is flame retardant and keep costumes away from lit candles or jack-o'-lanterns. If you plan on having jack-o'-lanterns, use battery-operated tea lights instead of candles for safer illumination.
TIP 3: Avoid trips and falls by selecting well-fitting costumes and practical shoes.
TIP 4: For the safety and well-being of your child (and everyone around them), costume accessories such as swords, knives and magical wands should be short, soft and flexible.
TIP 5: No masks! Don't pick a costume that covers your child's face. Opt for hypoallergenic and nontoxic makeup instead.

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