Millions of people celebrate Halloween every year. Borrowed or adapted from a few different festivals that once took place in Europe, Halloween has origins in the Roman Feralia festival, the Celtic summer’s end festival Samhain and the Catholic All Saints Day.

Trick-or-treating is a significant part of the Halloween festivities, but for many people, the real delight is choosing a costume. The right costume is not only one that suits the spirit of Halloween, but also one that’s safe. The Prevention First Organization says that collisions with cars, eye injuries from sharp objects and burns from flammable costumes account for the most youth emergency room visits on Halloween.

Just how does one create a safe costume? Consider these pointers when preparing for the arrival of Oct. 31.

• Rely on flashlights and reflective tape to make trick-or-treaters more visible during evening walks. The reflective tape can be incorporated right into the costume design.

• Choose hats and face paints in lieu of masks. Masks can block a child’s vision and impede a youngster’s ability to check for traffic.

• Ensure that costumes do not drag on the floor, as costumes that are too long can pose a tripping hazard.

• Have children wear comfortable, flat shoes to reduce the risk of tripping or falls.

• Make sure children walk on sidewalks and well-lit paths. They also should avoid darting out into the street to run to another home.

• Choose soft, flexible costume props whenever possible. Make sure the props, such as swords, are not sharp or too long.

• Make sure costumes and accessories are made with flame-resistant materials.

• Use glow sticks or battery-powered LED lights instead of lit candles for costumes and decorations.

• Trick-or-treat in groups with other parent chaperones so the adults can be extra diligent in their efforts to keep children safe.


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