Every Halloween hundreds of children sustain injuries and dozens lose their lives needlessly because of poorly planned costuming. The Center for Disease Control and other national consumer safety groups advise the following for safer costuming.
- Costumes, including capes, can become tripping hazards, especially as children scurry across darkened streets and climb unfamiliar porch stairs. Hemlines should clear the ground by several inches.
- Reflective tape can be added to costumes if they don’t have increased visibility to motorists built in.
- Eyeholes in masks should line up with the eyes and be large enough to provide the same sightlines available at other times.
- Open, and even partially enclosed, flames are a disaster waiting to happen. Substitute battery operated devices, even in Jack-o-lanterns.
Some parents opt to minimize danger by avoiding the streets altogether. Fall Festivals like the one at the Kempsville Church of Christ are popular and safer alternatives to house to house trick or treating. The 2013 festival at 5424 Parliament Dr., Virginia Beach, begins at 5 pm and will include games, prizes, inflatables, a cake walk and of course, candy. For more information, check the website or call 490-3925.