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Mark Bello
Mark Bello
Attorney • (877) 377-7848

Safety Begins Before the Candy

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Halloween is just around the corner and safety begins with the costume! Whether store bought or homemade, cute or scary, there is one thing that should be considered when choosing a Halloween costume – safety! Here are some tips to consider when picking the safest costume for your little ghost, witch, princess, pirate, or Minion.

Flame Resistant Costumes

All Halloween costumes sold in the United States must meet flammability requirements. The flame retardant properties must extend to accessories, such as hats, wigs and beards. Look for “flame retardant” or “flame resistant” on the product’s label; a costume made of 100 percent polyester is the safest choice. This does not mean these fabrics won’t burn — they will, but at a slow rate, allowing parents time to get the child out of the costume.

Size, Weight, and Length

Your child should be able to move freely in the costume. While some costume ideas may be clever, your child should be comfortable and able to move freely, and quickly if necessary.

A plush costume such as Eeyore, a dinosaur, or dog, may be too heavy for your child to walk and maintain balance. Also consider the weight of the costume as it relates to the weather. If the costume is too heavy, it could cause sever perspiration if the temperatures are warmer, but if the evening is cold, your child may need layers under the costume.

When your child tries on a costume, be sure to complete the outfit with the shoes he/she will be wearing on Halloween night to make sure the length does not pose a risk to tripping or falling. Make sure your child practices walking up and down stairs in the costume, as well. If the costume is too long, hem it or affix adhesive back Velcro. Avoid pins that could come undone and hurt your child. Parents should also avoid billowing outfits, flowing veils, long sashes and anything that can get caught in your child’s feet, becoming a tripping hazard.

If the costume is a darker color, add reflective tape to the front and back of the costume to help drivers see your “trick-or-treater”.


One of the best ways to prevent falls or other accidents is to keep footwear sensible. Shoes should fit well, be flexible, and sturdy. Experts recommend children wear their own tennis shoes rather than glittery dress-up heels, bulky clown shoes, boots, and other costume shoes.


When selecting a mask, make sure it fits securely and your child is able to see clearly. A loose-fitting mask can slip, blocking vision and obstructing breathing. Many masks will block peripheral vision so make sure the openings are large enough that your child has full range of vision. Avoid masks that cover the nose and ears, as they obstruct breathing and hearing, respectively.

Instead of a mask, consider face paint or make-up, but test a small amount on your child’s skin before the big day to make sure there are no allergic reactions.


If your kid will be wearing a helmet or hat, make sure that it fits on securely as to not slip over your child’s eyes. You could place a knit hat under the costume hat for extra padding to help it from slipping. If there is an elastic strap, make sure that it is not too tight.


Though your child may insist that the costume won’t be complete without an accessory or two – sword, lightsaber, shield, wand, etc., make sure it is size and age appropriate. If your child is not responsible enough to not swing the item around, it may be wise to wait on accessories until he/she is older. Scarves that drape over and around the neck can be a choking hazard. Also, remember that your child will already be carrying a trick-or-treat bag and possibly a flashlight or light stick for safety so adding an accessory can become cumbersome. And best left for a Halloween party.

Picking a costume should be a fun and exciting time for you and your child. Following these tips, can help you and your kids enjoy Halloween even more knowing they are avoiding preventable injuries thanks to a safe costume!

Mark Bello is the CEO and General Counsel of Lawsuit Financial Corporation, a pro-justice lawsuit funding company.