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A chill is in the air and the leaves are beginning to fall from the trees. Children are back in school, but there's only one thing on their minds ... Halloween is coming. "What am I going to be this year?" they wonder.

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Isabella with lamb costume and face paint

As usual, parents will be dragged to the mall to check out all the latest and greatest in Halloween costumes. Some will opt to make their own. In either case, here are some costume tips to help make your child's Halloween safe and fun.

Children's Costume Safety

  • If purchasing a costume from a store, make sure the label states that it is made from a fire-retardent material. If you're making your own costume, be sure to pick materials that are also fire-resistant.

  • Costumes should be loose enough around the body so that warm clothing can be worn beneath it without it being too loose that it snags on items.
  • Have your child try the costume on a few days before wearing. Make sure that it does not drag on the ground. Pants and robes should be hemmed up so that your child's feet are showing. Tripping and falling is the leading cause of accidental injuries on Halloween.
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    As much as we'd love our children to wear light-colored clothing, some costume themes (vampire, witch, etc.) just wouldn't look right in florescent yellow. Instead, add strips of reflective tape to the front and back of all costumes, including their trick or treat bag.
  • Remember, children don't drive cars, therefore they do not have any idea on how long it takes a driver to stop a car after they see the child. The sooner a driver can see your child, the safer your child will be.
  • Make sure the costume is easy to get out of. Preferably, it should close with snaps or velcro strips. If you must use zippers or buttons, make sure they are located in front of the costume
  • Children should wear well-fitting, flat shoes, not high heels.
  • Wigs and beards should fit properly and should not cover ears, nose or mouth.
  • Use makeup instead of a mask. Masks obstruct vision and children find it hard to breath when wearing them.
  • If your child insists on wearing a mask, make sure it has large eye openings (cut them bigger if you have to), and openings for the nose and mouth.
  • When purchasing makeup, make sure it is labelled non-toxic. However, some children (and adults) break out in a rash with the heavy petroleum-based makeups on the market. So, I've included some homemade recipes below for those of you who would like to create their own Halloween makeup.
  • Props and accessories should be made of a flexible material. They should not be rigid, sharp or overly heavy.
  • Sew a name tag into your child's costume, giving their name, address and phone number.
  • Remove makeup with shortening, cold cream or baby oil and tissues. Thoroughly wash face with soap and water after removal.

Home Made Halloween Makeup Recipes

Corn Syrup "Blood"

16 oz. White corn syrup
1 oz. red food coloring
1 oz. hand dishwashing liquid
1 oz. water A drop of blue food coloring

Mix the ingredients together and voila - blood. Remove the dishwashing liquid if you want to make edible blood. Adding condensed milk makes the fake blood less transparent and it looks more like real blood. This fake blood makeup is extremely sticky. It can stain skin and clothes so makes sure it's washed off quickly. Use a stain remover on clothes before washing.

NonToxic White Face Paint Recipe

1 tsp corn starch
1/2 tsp water
1/2 tsp cold cream
2 drops food coloring as desired

Mix ingredients and apply.

Clown Make-up

2 tsp white shortening
5 tsp corn starch
1 tsp white all purpose flour
glycerin as directed
Food coloring as desired

Mix together the shortening, corn starch and flour. Add 3 to 4 drops of glycerin to make the mixture creamier. Apply.


Additonal Makeup Tips

More Blood Recipes

Gruesome Makeup and Scary Effects


Bullet Holes

Fresh Cuts

Half a Face

Cat Makeup

About the Author
Rose Smith is the owner of and author of several ghoulish party ebooks. Designed for "trick or treaters" of any age, we invite you to come visit. Create creepy crafts, discover interesting tips and tricks, play spooktacular games and take part in many other hauntingly fun activities.

by Rose Smith © 2002

Lee Hansen

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