Dangerous Halloween Costumes

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Kids Halloween SafetyNo Capes!

In the movie, The Incredibles, the pint-sized Superhero Costume Designer, Edna Mode tells clients “NO CAPES” on their crime-fighting uniforms. She continues to list all the superheroes that were choked, caught, or sucked into vortexes by their accessory.
It’s a funny bit, but she has a point. By the end of the movie, Edna’s “no capes” rule saves the day, after the villain, Syndrome’s cape gets caught in his jet’s intake.
Capes are awfully dangerous for even the most valiant superheroes, and the most dastardly villains… so why do we let our kids wear them on Halloween? Capes can pose strangulation risks, trip hazards, or get caught on a decoration.
That got us thinking, what would world-renowned superhero fashion designer, Edna Mode say if she were in the business of Children’s Halloween Costumes?

Proper Footwear

Shoes are important for a Halloween costume. After all, if your daughter is dressing up as Cinderella, the glass slippers might make or break her ensemble. But those costume heels aren’t meant for outdoor use.
We suggest letting your kid wear her heels inside, but get some regular shoes for trick-or-treating.
The same goes for other shoes. Several costumes come with slip over boots to make it look like tennis shoes match the costume. While these are a way to make sure your kid has some tread on her shoes, they could pose a trip hazard if they come loose. Make sure they’re secure.
Your safest bet is ditching costume shoes altogether while trick-or-treating, and save the matching footwear for indoor activities.

Flame-Resistant Materials

Halloween costumes are often highly flammable. This fact, paired with Halloween’s decorative flames is enough to make any parent worry.  Most safety experts recommend snug costumes without flowing parts—a recommendation the costume industry has ignored.
In 2004, a seven-year-old was severely burned after wearing a Lord of the Rings Ringwraith costume out trick-or-treating. A decorative strip of fabric caught fire and, due to the flammable nature of the mesh material, the entire costume was in flames almost instantly.
The child was severely burned, and his father wrote an article about dealing with the experience. Today, the injured child’s parents always buy costumes with less flammable material, and treat costumes with flame retardant spray.
The manufacturer has not recalled the Ringwraith costume.

No facial hair

Pirate costumes, bearded ladies, and Dumbledore don’t make the best kid’s costumes. Long beards are often made from highly flammable materials and need to be kept away from open flames like bonfires and candles.
Especially don’t secure these beards with spirit gum. While the adhesive is standard for theatrical performances, it’s made completely of toxic materials. Not to mention, it can only be removed with a specific solvent. Not something you want to be putting on anybody’s face or head.

Be Cautious when Buying Second Hand

We’ve written several blogs regarding buying second-hand anything. While there are protocols in place to prevent many places from selling recalled items second-hand (it’s ILLEGAL) garage sales can be especially guilty. Private owners might not realize that the Girls’ Pink Punk Pirate costume was recalled for containing dangerous amounts of lead.
We get that you don’t want to spend $40 on a brand new costume that your kid will wear once. So, if you have a smartphone, type the name of the costume into Google before purchasing. Or you can go directly to www.recalls.com, or www.cpsc.gov for a list of recalled Halloween costumes.

Get Creative!

As parents and child injury attorneys, our number one goal is safety,  know Halloween should be fun! Try making Halloween costumes for yourself and your kids. Your kids will be able to express their individuality, and you can use cloth and other materials that you know Edna Mode would deem safe.

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