Children’s Halloween costumes can pose risks if not chosen carefully, say personal injury and product liability attorneys with Jacksonville’s Harrell and Harrell. Halloween is a favorite time of year for kids for one reason (well, besides the candy). It’s a day they can dress up, go out and pretend to be anyone, anything they want. But choosing a Halloween costume should be about more than fantasy – it must be about safety as well. When helping your child choose a costume, a first step should be a visit to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s website and a search on “recalled costumes.” The CPSC keeps tabs on all product recall, including costumes, props and toys that kids may use to complement their costumes. Recently recalled items include a Chinese-made “Pink Punk Pirate” costume containing 11 times the legal amount of lead – a frequent cause of costume and toy recalls. Lead poisoning can cause reduced IQ, slow growth, behavioral problems and kidney damage among other medical troubles. The risk increases with prolonged exposure, and as any parent knows, kids often will wear their costumes during playtime for months after Halloween has passed. More tips on choosing children’s Halloween costumes:
- Always check the labels to make sure fabrics used in costumes, masks, wigs and beards are flame-resistant. Minimize risk by opting for close-fitting costumes of nylon or polyester. Avoid costumes with baggy or flowing skirts, capes and sleeves, as they can brush candles or candle-lit jack-o-lanterns and catch fire. Plus, long, ill-fitting costumes can be trip hazards.
- Opt for brightly colored costumes that are more visible to motorists. If your kid insists upon a dark colored costume, mark portions of the costume, props and his or her trick-or-treat bag with reflective tape that will glow in the beam of a vehicle’s headlights. Also have your child carry a flashlight, making it easier for them to both see and be seen by passersby and motorists.
- Make sure masks fit securely, allow for adequate ventilation and feature eye holes large enough that they don’t obstruct vision. Clear peripheral vision is a must for kids trick-or-treating along neighborhood streets.
- If possible, skip the mask for makeup instead, but be aware that many cheaper cosmetics can irritate the skin. Check products on a small patch of your child’s skin before going doing full makeup.
- Make sure that shoes fit well and are sturdy. This is particularly important for girls whose costume ideas call for high-heeled shoes looks.
- Choose props such as swords, scepters and fairy wands that are made of soft, flexible material to avoid bruises or cuts from broken pieces.
If you or your child are injured because of a defective or dangerous costume, prop or makeup product, store it as is (don’t destroy or attempt to repair it) and call an experienced product liability or personal injury attorney immediately. With offices throughout Northeast Florid and in Orlando, Harrell and Harrell specializes in such cases and can help you get fair compensation for injuries, illnesses and losses. Call 800-251-1111.