- Costumes should be short and snug – baggy sleeves or billowy capes and skirts can trip your child up and catch fire if they brush against jack-o-lanterns or candle flames.
- Shoes need to fit – big, floppy shoes (clown shoes or adult shoes) can be hard to walk in and could make your child fall.
- Costume props should be flexible – costume props can cause injury during a fall. Make sure swords, knives, etc. are made of flexible plastic or rubber.
- Masks should fit properly and the eye holes should allow for full visibility. Even better, use face paint instead of wearing a mask.
- Make sure drivers can see costumes in the dark – wear a glow-in-the-dark costume or attach retroreflective tape or stickers to your child’s costume. Make sure they take a flashlight with them.
- Go trick-or-treating in a group – don’t allow children to trick-or-treat alone. And, make sure an adult accompanies the group.
- Remind children to cross streets at crosswalks and intersections – stop at street corners. Look left, right and left again before crossing, and don’t cross between parked cars.
- Inspect treats before they are eaten – remind your children to pick only wrapped candy when they trick-or-treat.
Sylvia Scholl is director of WakeMed Trauma Program.