Make Halloween a Safe and Spooktacular Night
< Oct. 22, 2008 > -- It is that time of year when your kids want to dress up like Superman, Spider-Man or their favorite character from the latest blockbuster movie.
Many parents are so excited about dressing up their little ones during Halloween, they forget to consider some simple safety tips that help keep children out of harm's way for trick-or-treating. This Halloween make sure you choose a costume and makeup that is safe and healthy for your child.
Choosing The Safest Costume
Deciding on a costume can be a challenge, but safety and comfort should be the primary goal. For instance, big, baggy sleeves or billowing skirts may cause your child to trip and fall. Therefore, it is important to make sure your child's costume is an appropriate length.
For safe walking, children should wear sturdy, well-fitting shoes. This is not a good time to allow your little girl to wear mommy's high heels.
The US National Safety Council suggests selecting a loose-fitting costume so your child can wear warm clothes underneath, especially in colder climates. To help prevent injury, they also recommend that fun accessory items and props - such as swords and knifes - should be made of soft and flexible material.
Novelty Makeup or Mask?
A spooky face mask or hood may be hard for your child to resist. But choosing to use face paint instead of a cumbersome mask may be a better choice. Masks and head gear - such as hats and scarfs - can restrict breathing or obscure vision. If a mask is used, make sure it is not ill-fitting and has large eyeholes to allow full vision.
If face paint is used, make sure your child is not allergic to the ingredients of the product. To reduce the risk of problems with face paint and other novelty cosmetics, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends following all directions carefully and using only products intended for the skin.
Some face paints contain color additives that may not be good for your skin. Check the label for a list of the ingredients, Be sure to do a skin test on your child's arm a few days before using the product on his or her face and check for an allergic reaction.
Even products that indicate "safe, non-toxic, or allergenic" should be scrutinized. If an ingredient seems suspect, check the FDA Web site, or just do not use it. Fortunately, color additives must be approved by the FDA for use in cosmetics, so the risk of unapproved additives is low.
After the festivities, remove makeup gently and follow the directions on the label.To prevent possible irritation and dried particles from getting into the eyes, do not allow your child to go to bed with the makeup on.
If an allergic reaction - rash, swollen eyelids, redness, or other symptoms - occurs, contact your doctor immediately.
More Halloween Safety Tips
The American Red Cross states it is a good idea to decorate or trim costumes with reflective tape because it will glow in the beam of a car's headlights. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) offers similar suggestions that include selecting light colored clothing to assure that your child can be seen in the dark, as well as carrying flashlights to see and be seen better.
The American Red Cross recommends using reflective tape on bikes, skateboards, and brooms during Halloween. You can usually purchase reflective tape from a hardware, bicycle, or sporting goods store.
The CPSC also recommends reading the labels and purchasing flame resistant costumes, including masks, beards, and wigs. Keep in mind, the label does not mean these items will not catch fire. Rather, the items will resist burning and should extinguish quickly once removed from a fire. This, in addition to minimizing contact with burning candles, will decrease the risks of burns.
Halloween night should be filled with surprise and enjoyment. Following some common sense practices can make sure all events are safe and more fun.
Always consult your physician for more information.
For more information on health and wellness, please visit health information modules on this Web site.
Contact dermatitis is a physiological reaction that occurs after skin comes in contact with certain substances. Irritants to the skin cause the vast majority of these reactions. The remaining reactions are caused by allergens, which trigger an allergic response.
Adults are most commonly affected by allergic contact dermatitis, but it can affect people of all ages.
The most common causes of irritants to children include soaps, saliva, different foods, detergents, baby lotions, and perfumes.
Plants, as well as metals, cosmetics, and medications may also cause contact dermatitis. Many types of cosmetics can cause allergic contact dermatitis.
Permanent hair dye that contains paraphenylenediamine is the most common cause. Other products that may cause problems include dyes used in clothing, perfumes, eye shadow, nail polish, lipstick, and some sunscreens.
The following are some of the other symptoms associated with contact dermatitis. However, each child may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:
The most severe reaction is at the contact site. Symptoms of contact dermatitis may resemble other skin conditions. Always consult your child's physician for a diagnosis.
Specific treatment for contact dermatitis will be determined by your child's physician. The best treatment is to identify and avoid the substances that may have caused the allergic contact dermatitis.
The following is recommended by the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, for mild to moderate reactions:
Always consult your physician for more information.
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