Trick or Treat? Ensure your Halloween Purchases are Safe
10/19/2007 | Halloween is a time of devilish fun and festivity for both adults and children, but to ensure a safe Halloween for your little goblin, safety should be a priority when purchasing costumes, treats and toys. Here are some easy tips to follow this Halloween:
• Buy costumes, accessories and toys from reputable merchants.
• Buy brands you recognize and trust.
• Look for a CE (Conformité Européenne) mark- the mandatory European marking for toys that verifies that the product has gone through rigorous safety testing. The American equivalent is UL (Underwriters Laboratories).
• Check that costumes and masks are fire retardant and that eye cutouts allow for good peripheral vision. If the costume is not reflective, ensure your child has a flashlight or glow stick.
• Check the age restrictions to ensure the costume or toy is suitable for your child’s age. A costume or toy that is fun for an eight-year-old might pose serious safety risks for a three year old.
• Be alert for hazards such as sharp points and edges that may cause harm if your child fell. Most costume weaponry is not allowed in nurseries or school environments, so best to find a costume that does not require such props.
• Check for small parts that can come loose and become a choking hazard. Capes, drawstrings and other hanging parts are particularly dangerous.
• When buying treats to hand out this is one time of the year that over-packaging may be considered a good thing. Individually wrapped and sealed candies are best so that parents may check there has not been tampering with the product.
• Have your child wait until getting home to consume candy or play with treats so you may inspect them first.
• Test any makeup or washable hair dye on a small piece of skin or hair before using it.
• Ensure a responsible adult is with your child at all times during trick-or-treating. Teenagers may lack the good judgment of what a young child can handle and inadvertently let them be traumatized by situations that are too scary.
• Take younger children trick-or-treating early (from 6pm-7pm) before it is too dark and older Teens venture out.