The countdown to Halloween is on, and while costume choices are top of mind for the wee ones, safety is an important consideration for parents. We asked Gina Anki, owner of Toronto's Theatrix Costume House, for her top costume selection tips.
This article was originally published as "Costume Clues" in the October 2012 issue of Today's Parent Toronto.
Although it's usually safer to apply make-up, sometimes a mask is necessary for the costume. Just make sure vision and breathing holes are completely clear, Anki suggests.
"Latex and plastic masks can be easily trimmed with a pair of scissors, and you can even move the lower mouth portion of the mask if you're concerned."
Anki cautions parents to avoid scarves or anything that might get caught and pose a choking hazard.
However, if you are trying something, "the Internet can provide a wealth of information regarding proper knotting and tying."
With the mad dash from house to house, tripping is a definite possibility.
"While you should construct or purchase kids' costumes a bit bigger than necessary — to fit additional layers of clothing underneath in case it's cold — there shouldn't be any extra fabric dragging on the ground," Anki says.
While novelty footwear is sometimes paramount to an authentic look, the ability to walk properly should come first.
"If your little darling insists on unusual shoes," Anki cautions, "you may want to purchase or build a sort of spat that replicates the look instead, so they can still wear their sneakers underneath."
Being seen is especially important if your child is going to be out trick-or-treating after dark, so the more light the better.
"Use reflective tape, flashlights, strip lighting or anything else that will make your child visible to other kids and to oncoming traffic," says Anki.
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