The days are getting cooler and darkness falls earlier. It's almost Halloween! The big event generally kicks off just as dusk is settling in.
Let's face it. Visibility out there is not good. Your eyes are struggling to adjust to the changing light conditions just as car lights should be switching on and street lights should be coming on.
And it's at this time that hordes of children are cutting loose on the streets. They're wearing unfamiliar clothing and weighed down by plastic pumpkins, bags and pillow cases. They are excited, with visions of Halloween candy dancing in their heads.
If you think about it, the whole event is overflowing with risk factors. But if everybody is alert and on their toes, Halloween can be safe and fun for everyone.
How to Dress
Costumes should fit well, so kids can keep their balance. Kids should wear light colors. You can put reflective stickers or tape on costumes and candy bags. They can carry glow sticks — lightsabers anyone? — or flashlights.
Costume accessories such as swords, knives and the like should be made out of rubber or some other soft material.
Masks can make it hard to see. Makeup is better. You as the parent will have to make sure that what goes on your child's face is safe. You'd be surprised what is allowed to be used in children's Halloween makeup.
In 2014, the FDA discovered cobalt, chromium, nickel and lead in samples analyzed for metal contamination. And "hypoallergenic" labeling is no guarantee that the product is actually hypoallergenic.
Keep makeup or face paint away from your child's eyes and mouth. Avoid face paint with colors that are not approved by the FDA. There are eight FDA-approved neon, or fluorescent, colors and one FDA-approved luminescent that glows in the dark. Learn more on that here.
Face paints can also be concocted at home with ingredients like cornstarch and color from fruits and vegetables.
Where to Go
HALLOWEEN SAFETY TIPS. Safekids.org. Retrieved Oct. 25, 2016.
Halloween Health and Safety Tips. CDC.gov. Retrieved Oct. 25, 2016.
Halloween Food Safety Tips for Parents. FDA.gov. Retrieved Oct. 25, 2016.
Simple Steps For Safer Face Paint. EWG.org. Retrieved Oct. 25, 2016.