Trick-or-treat safety is not the only thing for parent to think about this Halloween. Choosing safe Halloween costumes for kids is also vital. Sure, that fuzzy bear costume may look sweet on your little one. But is it safe? How can you tell? From one parent to the next, here are some safety tips to keep in mind when choosing your child's next costume.
Check for sharp edges. Before ever putting that costume on your child, check for things that may scrape or scratch. Sharp edges can most commonly be found on masks and other costume accessories. But also check the costume itself for sharp edges and other pieces that jut out.
Test for allergies to latex and other masks. The last thing you want on Halloween is to rush your child to the ER over a reaction. Do an allergy test at least 48 hours prior to your child wearing his Halloween costume. Check each mask label for the manufacturer's instructions on testing for allergies. General instructions will likely include exposing a small area of the skin to the material for a certain amount of time.
Test for makeup and accessory allergies. Face makeup and other Halloween costume accessories may also cause an allergic reaction. You might avoid face makeup and certain accessories, use hypoallergenic face makeup, or do a skin allergy test at least 48 hours in advance.
How well can your child see through masks and around hats? Tiny holes for the eyes are just one no-no when it comes to Halloween masks. Be sure your child can see fully when wearing any hats, masks, and face accessories. If your child cannot see side to side and directly in front of him without rotating his head, that's a bad sign.
Is the costume weather-appropriate? Sure, that fairy princess costume is adorable. But if it's snowing outside, your child better also have some cute warm clothing on top or underneath. On that same token, if your child is wearing a thick bear costume and it's 80 degrees outside, there better be some air filtration and/or fans inside of it.
Pay attention to length. Tripping over a costume might be funny. But it can also be quite painful. Be sure your child's costume is no longer than 6 inches above the ankles to prevent accidents on stairs and while walking or dancing.
Use appropriate accompanying footwear. Tired after a long day at work? You know that feeling your feet get? Help prevent that in your child on Halloween by making sure footwear is appropriate. Try finding shoes that are both comfortable and appropriate to the costume. Slippers and other dress-up shoes can be bought in a larger size to slip over more comfortable footwear.
Be sure costumes are bright, glowing, or have lighted accessories. Traffic can be busy on Halloween with all the activities going on. Make sure your kids are bright enough to be seen from a good distance.
Check faux weaponry for real dangers. True, these are supposed to be fake weapons. But that doesn't mean they aren't still dangerous. Look for sharp edges, removable parts, and other potential hazards to kids before sending them off to have fun on Halloween.
For this super simple Halloween costume, all you need is a pair of your child's jeans, a dress shirt, some cowboy boots, a cowboy hat, and a handkerchief. The items are the same whether you'll be creating a costume for a cowboy or a cowgirl. A belt with a huge buckle can add to the look. For a girl, you may also want to add an extra handkerchief to cut up for hair ties. You'll see a few options for that shortly.
The first item to put on is the dress shirt. It should be one with a button-up style. One with metal buttons can sometimes have even more effect, as can one made with corduroy or blue jean material. Next are the blue jeans. The blue jeans can be any style. However, those with more slender legs work best. Tuck the dress shirt into the blue jeans and pull out the shirt slightly on the sides, still leaving it tucked in.
Once the jeans and shirt are on correctly, pull on the boots. The jeans should be tucked into the cowboy or cowgirl boots. After tucking in the boots, it is time to add the accessories for your last minute cowboy or cowgirl Halloween costume. Tie the handkerchief around the child's neck and allow the child to put on the belt, securing the buckle in the front. The bigger, the better, as far as the cowboy or cowgirl belt buckle is concerned.
If you are dressing up your little girl as a cowgirl, you may want to accessorize the hair somehow. You can use the handkerchief as a headband, securing it around the child's head and tucking it under the hair in back. Another hairstyle option could be to create two braids and cut pieces of the handkerchief to act as ties for the ends of the hair. One more hairstyle option for this Halloween costume is to make a single French braid in the back. Secure the end by
tying a piece of a handkerchief to the bottom.
The last step to creating a last minute cowboy or cowgirl Halloween costume is placing the cowboy hat atop your child's head. Some may prefer to also tie a handkerchief to the cowboy hat as a hat band. Great cowboy hats can often be found at thrift stores. Thrift store cowboy hats work well because they are often the real thing, versus a cheap Halloween accessory. The boots and belt buckles can also be found at thrift stores. Also, don't forget to ask friends and relatives about these items. If you don't have any of them on hand, chances are that someone you know might.
If you and your child will be out at night, don't forget the glow sticks or flashlights. Have a safe and happy Halloween.
*I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network
Need a perfect Halloween costume for your perfect angel - at the last minute? Try an angel. You probably have all the materials at home and it can be made in just a few minutes. This is great for those times when you just need to throw something together and don't have much time or the store is wiped clean.
Grab a white sheet or dress. Either a white sheet or a white dress will work as an angel dress. For the dress, you won't have to do much but have your child put it on. With the sheet, just cut a hole in the middle large enough for going over your child's head. Remember the ghost costume trick? This is just like that, except your child will be an angel, not a ghost, once the accessories are added.
Grab a silver or gray scarf, belt, or fabric scrap. One of these items large enough to span your child's waist will do the trick. Put on the belt or tie the scarf or fabric scrap around your child's waist. This helps avoid the ghost look and get your child's homemade angel Halloween costume look more angelic.
Grab three wire hangers and straighten them. Take the first one and fold one end over to the middle to make a circle. Twist the sections together. Now make a circle with the other end as well and fasten it in the same manner. Be sure there is a straight piece going up between the two and that one circle will securely fit atop your child's head. When it's placed there, the other circle should rise above his or her head like a halo. Set this aside. Take the other two hangers and connect them in the middle, making wing shapes out of each side. Set the wings aside.
Grab some aluminum foil and elastic (or string). This will be the final touch to your kid's last-minute homemade angel Halloween costume. Wrap the foil around the wings, as well as the halo. Now put the halo on your child. Then, you are going to attach the wings. First cut a very lengthy piece of elastic or thick string (yarn and twine both work well). Tie the elastic or string to the middle portion of the wings,with a long piece extending from each end. Place the wings against your child's back and wrap each string end over the shoulder and around the arm on each side. Tie it again in the middle. This should secure the wings.
Now the only thing left to do is send your child off to the costume party or take her trick-or-treating in her new homemade angel costume. Happy Halloween!
*I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network
Unprepared for an unplanned, last minute Halloween party? Maybe your budget cannot fit in a costume this year. Perhaps you waited too long and there are no good Halloween costumes left in the stores. Maybe your kids changed their minds - again. Whatever your reason, this quick and easy last minute clown costume could be your answer. So stop your worrying and stressing and get to it - quick - before you run out of time. Most of the items for this costume may already be in your house. If not, many could easily be borrowed from a friend or found in a thrift store.
Materials Needed for a Last Minute Clown Halloween Costume
How to Make a Quick, Easy, Last Minute Halloween Clown Costume
A clown costume is possibly one of the easiest Halloween costumes to make on a time or budget constraint. Just gather a few common materials from your house - or possibly your friends - and voila - a quick and easy clown costume for Halloween. There's only a small amount of preparation for this one. The rest is as simple as getting dressed.
To make your clown costume for Halloween, simply gather up the materials from above. As far as the dress up clothing goes, the funnier looking an item is, the better. Remember, this is a clown costume, so funny-looking is good this time. Just remember not to wear this on your next date unless you're headed to a Halloween party.
Go ahead and put on the shirt, overalls (or pants with suspenders), socks, and shoes. If you don't have overalls or pants with suspenders, you can create mock suspenders with four safety pins and a couple old belts or scarves. Simply safety pin the belts or scarves to the back of the pants and over the shoulders in a criss-cross pattern and then safety pin them to the front of the pants to keep them on. With the shoes, go for the biggest and brightest pair you can find. If they're your big brother's or sister's and they're too big for you, that's even better. A clown Halloween costume should be funny-looking and not too organized. Remember to get permission though, so their angry voice won't be haunting you later. To get them to stay on, just stuff some cloth or tissue in the toe so they won't fall off.
As for the hat, you may need to decorate that just a touch. If the hat is already decorated with some sort of funny or scary design, just leave it as is. If it isn't, you can make a quick Halloween clown hat by attaching a flower made from construction paper and glue. To make a simple clown flower, cut out a 5-petal flower shape from your color choice of construction paper. Now cut out a dot in another color that will fit in the center of your flower shape. Next, cut out a stem shape and leaves each in another color. Glue the pieces together with white glue and allow them to dry for a few minutes. Safety pin the flower to your Halloween clown hat.
There are several choices to create your clown costume hairstyle. If you have thick, curly hair, you could create an afro. If you have time, look up a Kool-Aid dye recipe and dye your hair in multiple colors. If you don't have time, you can forgo the dye. The afro alone can still work. For shorter hair, worry less about your hairstyle and more about the hat and makeup. The main goal for a Halloween clown costume is to look a bit messy, as far as the hair and clothing. Another hairstyle choice is for hair that is shoulder-length or longer. This can work for males or females. Tease or back-comb the entire head of hair, creating a messy unorganized look. One more hairstyle option that can work for long hair is to put the hair in two braids on either side of the head. Tie bows at the ends.
For the makeup, just use whatever you have on hand that will work, unless you can somehow find some Halloween makeup at the last minute. If you have no makeup and cannot find any Halloween makeup, try the regular makeup section in your local pharmacy, grocer, or retail chain and grab some red lipstick, as well as some white. Apply the white makeup first. That should go over the entire face. To help it stay on longer without smearing, try mixing it with Vaseline and baby powder before application. Now use the red lipstick or Halloween makeup for the lips, two dots on the cheek, a dot on the nose and circles around the eye area. Remember to also mix the red with Vaseline and baby powder if you can.
Now you are ready to show off your homemade Halloween clown costume. Don't be surprised if yours actually has more effect than the store-bought ones. It may be the uniqueness. Sometimes homemade and last-minute can create the best costume because no one will have one like yours.
*I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network
While browsing the internet a few years ago, as well as local department stores for ideas on Halloween costumes, I noticed a frightening trend. While the costumes remained scary, ghoulish, and otherwise Halloween-themed, I noticed the costumes for little girls were overly revealing.
The skirt and dress portions of the costumes had gotten much shorter. Many cat costumes for children resembled the revealing or sexy ones made for adults. Witches were sporting miniskirts and minidresses that hauntingly revealed too much.
I can understand that children enjoy looking like adults, but does that mean they should be dressing this revealing? I’m not talking about a normal-looking short skirt. I’m talking about dresses and skirts that are not just above the knees, but are mid-thigh and higher. There are even costumes that look like sexy women's lingerie that are targeted to and sized for very young girls.
By the descriptions of the costumes above, it might appear that I am describing costumes for teenagers. Wrong. I am describing costumes designed for children 6 years old and up. Major retailers, one of which I am generally very fond of, were even carrying these seemingly inappropriate costumes for little girls.
At first, I wanted to blame this retailer for carrying these costumes, if they can be called that, as this was my first stop during my costume search. Then, with the next stop, then the next, and thereafter, I realized these were everywhere. I saw many little girls princess costumes that were made extremely short. The Disney Princess costumes were not this way at that time and thankfully, were widely available. There were also unisex costumes, like dogs and other animals that were not drawing the line. So, all may not be lost.
After my terrifying search at retailers big and small, I decided to search online for an appropriate costume, but again, I was horrified as my internet search revealed the same results, at some times, even worse. Afraid of the trend I'd found, I searched and searched to find a site that did not offer any of these costumes. You would think my search terms were affecting my search, but not so. They were simple and short, such as "Halloween costumes for kids". Search after search turned up so many inappropriate costumes for girls.
After that, I determined that I would continue to design and make my children's costumes, as usual. I did find many costume accessories that were much more appropriate than the costumes. There were plenty of princess crowns, wands, false teeth, capes, swords, various masks, and many other accessories. So, indeed, all was not lost.
I was just left to wonder who came up with the idea that children needed to dress up in costumes that reveal too much. Was it parents? Perhaps it was the retail stores. Maybe it was even the manufacturers of the costumes. If the parents agreed to this, that would be more frightening than the costumes.
UPDATE: As the years passed, I thought maybe the situation would improve. However, instead it has worsened. Yes, non-revealing costumes can still be found. But unfortunately, the sexy ones are growing increasingly popular as the time passes by. What message are we sending retailers when we allow this and even buy these costumes? More importantly, what are we teaching our children?
*I originally published a version of this via Yahoo Contributor Network
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