CHILLICOTHE, Mo. – Halloween should be a fun time for dress-up, parties and yummy treats. Taking a few precautions before your kids head out the door can go a long way toward keeping them safe, said a University of Missouri Extension human development specialist.

A “dress rehearsal” a few days before Halloween can help spot problems with your child’s costume, said Jessica Trussell.

“Letting them wear it around the house gives you the opportunity to see if an area is too big or too loose,” Trussell said. “Maybe you need to hem something, like the pants or a skirt.”

Choose costumes with light-colored fabric, which reflect better at night, making it easier motorists to see them. Check that beards, wigs and masks don’t obstruct vision.

“Makeup would be a good option because you don’t have to worry if the child can see or if the mask is covering the mouth or nose,” she said. “Kids can have fun and create the exact Halloween look they want.”

Make sure the costume props are safe. “If they’re carrying a knife or sword or something like that, make sure it’s not something that can harm your child or other children.”

Motorists need to be extra vigilant on Halloween night, especially in residential neighborhoods where kids may be running across streets or darting out between parked cars.

“Whenever you’re pulling in and out of your driveway, make sure there aren’t any children behind you,” Trussell said.

Once your children come home from trick-or-treating, carefully inspect all their treats. “Make sure candies are in their original wrappers. Cut up any fruit they have brought home,” she said. “If you’re in doubt, throw it out. Kids will get so much candy they won’t miss it.”


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