I have many fond memories of celebrating Halloween as a child. Carving out our pumpkins a few days before Halloween, toasting pumpkin seeds, and making little ghosts out of tissues and cotton balls. However, the thing I remember the most are my favorite costumes! One of the best ways to help your child have a safe and memorable Halloween is to be sure they have a safe and comfortable costume:
- Consider your child’s gross motor skills; such as walking, running, going up stairs, turning, etc. Bulky costumes or those with accessories such as tails or wings may be difficult for some children to navigate in. Give the costume a test run by having your child wear it around the house, or even on a walk to make sure everything fits correctly.
- Masks, hoods or hats can really make some costumes complete, but they may not be safe, or comfortable. If your child’s costume comes with a mask or other head wear, give it a ‘test run’ and make sure they can see, breath and be comfortable with it on. (Sometimes the elastic straps that hold the masks on cause the discomfort, so check those, too!) If your child doesn’t want to wear a mask, hood, etc., respect their decision. They will look great, with or without it.
- Fashionable footwear may be a must for some adults, but for children, it’s all about function. Properly fitting tennis shoes or boots (depending on the weather) are going to be your best bet. Avoid sandals, open toed shoes, clogs or ‘high’ heels as they increase the risk of ankle injuries, blisters, cuts, and stubbed toes.
- Adaptable outfits are a must in most US cities at the end of October. The record low in Omaha on October 31 is 35 degrees, and the high, 83! Choose a costume that can maintain the ‘look’ if you have to add layers, but won’t be so warm your child is hot and uncomfortable.
- Add a little pizazz to your child’s costume, and help make them more visible, by adding glow sticks, glow necklaces or bracelets, or little flashing lights.
- Let your child help choose what outfit they are going to wear. The best way to help young children choose an outfit is for you to decide on two or three choices that you think will work well and then let your child make the final decision. When children are given choices, it helps them increase their self-esteem and independence. Being able to make the choice about their costume may also help your child be more excited about wearing the costume and attentive to adults during the Halloween festivities.
KATIE KRAUSE, EXTENSION EDUCATOR | THE LEARNING CHILD
Peer Reviewed by Lynn DeVries, Extension Educator, The Learning Child, Tonia Durden and Gail Brand
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