There are two primary safety requirements for your child’s Halloween costume to make it safe for walking in the dark:
- Car drivers must be able to see your child, and
- Your child must have unrestricted visibility.
Read on for tips to ensure your child is visible to drivers and that he can see vehicles that are approaching. But first, here are a few tips to keep your child safe:
- An adult should accompany young children. Do not rely on older children to watch out for younger siblings or neighbors.
- Talk to your child about road and walking safety. Practice looking both ways for cars.
- Plan a safe route. Do your best to avoid roads without sidewalks or with pedestrian hazards.
- Explain the dangers of distracted walking and discourage using one’s cell phone while walking on the street or sidewalk.
Make Your Child’s Halloween Costume More Visible to Car Drivers
With a little creativity, you can use your child’s costume as a means to make him safer for Halloween trick or treating. To protect your child from cars while walking around in the dark:
- Choose a costume with bright colors. Light or bright colors are easier for drivers to see at dusk and in the dark. Iridescent fabric or sparkles will be easier to see. This strategy will work best if your child wants to wear a princess or similar costume. If your child has her heart set on a spooky, dark costume, however, there are still ways to keep her visible.
- Incorporate flashing lights into the costume. This can make an all-black outfit stand out so car drivers can see your child. You can incorporate flashing lights into helmets, plastic swords, light sabers, and many other accessory items so they become part of the overall theme.
- Apply reflective tape to the front, back, arms, and sides of the costume to make him easier to see from all sides. Some types of reflective tape are clear unless light shines on them. Using this tape will likely be accepted better by your child, as not “ruining” the outfit.
- Use glow sticks around your child’s head, neck, and arms. You can use glow sticks as tiaras, necklaces, armbands, and bracelets. Do not stop with just one.
- Your child’s treat bag or bucket can be a safety feature as well as a candy stash holder. Put reflective tape on it, buy one with flashers built-in, and loop flexible glow sticks around the handle.
- Use flashlights to look for tripping hazards and to make your child more noticeable to drivers. You can get small flashlights with wrist straps, so your kids do not lose them.
Make Sure Your Child’s Costume Does Not Restrict His Visibility
If your child’s mask or some other part of his costume blocks his view, it could block his view of obstacles on the sidewalk or road, causing him to fall and get hurt. Test for blocked vision at the store by having your child put on the mask and tell you which things he can see around him.
Further, if your child’s mask or costume impairs his visibility, he might not be able to see vehicles approaching. He could walk right out in front of a moving car if he cannot see well.
Many experts discourage the use of masks at all, suggesting that parents use face paint instead. While face-painting can be a daunting task if you are not an artist, stores sell kits with user-friendly instructions to achieve the effect you want. Another option is to let your child paint her face herself.
Avoid Long Halloween Costumes That Are Tripping Hazards
A costume that is too long is a tripping hazard, regardless of how well your child can see through the mask. If she falls, she will be even harder for a car to see in the dark. Remember that kids will be climbing up and down porch stairs, walking (and running) around, and playing throughout the evening. Make sure that her costume, including accessories, will not cause her to trip.
Have fun this Halloween, and stay safe.
If you need help with an injury that was not your fault, call the Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, PC at 404-474-0804.