Dangerous Halloween Costumes

15864842_lHalloween costumes can pose significant dangers to both children and adults. Burn injuries, falls, injuries from props such as toy swords, and even lead poisoning all make the list. Parents have a fine line to walk between coming up with amazing costumes that will make their kids happy, and sticking to costumes that will not land their children in the emergency room. And, of course, Halloween is not just for kids. When you combine an elaborate costume with alcohol, it can be a recipe for disaster.

Fire Hazards

Halloween costumes are flammable. Those that don’t burst into flames can melt, and that can still burn you or your kid. Yes, there are regulations, but you can’t rely on them. You should only purchase costumes that are labeled Flame Resistant, but with the understanding that these items will still burn and some that are sold with the label don’t even pass the test.

When Minneapolis/St. Paul’s 5 Eyewitness News tested several costumes, some behaved as they are supposed to, but the Sponge Bob costume was fully engulfed in flames in under a minute. ABC News reports that since 1980, at least 16 children under the age of 15 have suffered burn injuries involving Halloween costumes, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). One of the children died from her injuries.

If you are a super safety-conscious parent who wouldn’t dream of using real candles in your decorations, don’t assume that your neighbors got the memo. The most common fire hazard encountered by children and adults wearing costumes is still the jack-o-lantern.

Safe Costume Tips

  • Always look for the label “Fire Resistant”.
  • Only choose a costume that fits well, including shoes that fit, are non-slip, and easy to walk in.
  • Avoid costumes that are flowing, billowing, or have hanging pieces of fabric.
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