October 23, 2015

Dark colors are spooky and masks are fun, but both can present hazards. Be mindful of these safety tips on Halloween.


When I was a little girl my mom used to embarrass the heck out of me. I was always the kid who was more bundled up than the other kids, and I wasn’t allowed to jump off the high dive even though I knew how to swim. I was often mortified by her overprotection.

Once I became I mother, I understood her focus on prevention and protection. This safety mindfulness often heightened at the holidays such as Halloween.

With trick-or-treat coming later this month, parents should be mindful of these Halloween costume safety tips and guidelines and keeping the night injury-free.


Halloween masks come in all shapes, sizes and coverage. They range from just a covering over the eye area to something that goes over the entire head. All masks can pose a hazard by hindering your child’s vision. Halloween activities are already loud and chaotic, in addition to occurring at night. Don’t allow your child to wear a mask that impedes any part of his or her vision or depth perception.

A great alternative to masks is face painting, which can also create a memorable and creative experience for your child. If you decided to face paint, remember:

  • Choose a face paint that is specifically labeled as safe for children because too many paints on the market have lead and other chemicals.
  • Metallic craft glitter, acrylic paint and washable markers are not safe for a child’s skin.
  • Just because a paint is labeled as non-toxic does not mean it is safe, especially for skin.
  • Wash your hands and only use clean brushes.
  • Make your own face paint by mixing face cream and organic food colorants.


It seems that the variety of costumes is infinite, from fairy princesses to galactic warriors to book characters. But keep safety in mind when choosing a Halloween costume for your child to prevent tripping, falls and burns.

  • Make sure the costume is not too long so that it may trip up your child.
  • Dark colors are spooky, but they are also difficult to see at night. If a costume is dark, attach some glow sticks and have your child carry a flashlight.
  • Decorate a costume with reflective or glow-in-the-dark stickers.
  • Be aware of the flammability of costume materials; pay close attention when your child is near candles, fireplaces, bonfires or lit pumpkins.

I allowed my son to jump off the high dive because he was a good swimmer and I’ve never bundled him up in winter clothing to a point where he could not move. But I did take extra precautions during Halloween and trick or treating. Using non-toxic, child-friendly face paints was a great option for him to look as scary as he wanted, but so that the fright did not extend to me as I chased him around a dark neighborhood asking for goodies. Let’s keep all of our little ghouls and princesses and ninjas and monsters safe during this wonderfully fun and magical holiday.

Written by GiGi Rose, a West Virginia native who has called Nashville home for 25 years. Her professional background is in program coordination and community outreach.


To learn more about Halloween safety, click here.