Foot and ankle safety concerns with kids Halloween costumes

Foot and ankle safety at Halloween is priority #1 at my office. Nothing puts the brakes on an evening of trick-or-treating faster than a painful blister or sore spot on the foot or a sprained ankle.

Cute costumes are all over the place, and we as parents need to think about the choices we make in regards to what our children wear this Halloween.  Little trick or treaters can suffer serious consequences due to falling, foot and ankle specialist in troy mirunning into things due to low visibility, or tripping on part of their costume.  Here are some of the choices you should be aware of to keep your kids safe this Halloween:

As taken from the Emergency Medical Services Authority:

1. Look for a good fit. When it comes to choosing a Halloween costume for kids, one of the most important no-no’s is putting your child in something that’s too big or loose for her. A costume that’s too long can cause her to trip. Flowing, billowy costumes can easily snag on objects and other people, and can be potentially very dangerous around open flames, such as candles, which are very commonly used around Halloween. The best way to keep your child safe: Choose a costume that fits snugly and is the right length for her height.

2. Choose flame-resistant materials. Check the label to make sure that the costume is made out of flame resistant materials. Since your child is likely to be near candles, lanterns, and other decorative flames when he goes to Halloween parties or is out trick-or-treating, this safety tips is a must.  If an accident occurs and your little trick or treater suffers a burn, go straight to the Emergency Room and contact my office for a followup appointment; I’m a certified specialist in burn and wound treatment.

3. Skip the capes and masks. In the movie The Incredibles, one of the characters, a pint-sized superhero costume designer, talks about the dangers of capes. It was a funny bit, but it made a good point: Capes can pose strangulation risks, and could get caught on something or cause a child to trip. If you allow your child to have a mask, make sure he only wears it for photos or when he is not walking. Many masks can obstruct a child’s vision, and could pose a danger, especially when it’s dark at night. When choosing a mask, make sure it fits snugly on your child’s face so that it doesn’t slip (but not tightly around the neck) and has large holes around the eyes. Also check to make sure that he can breathe comfortably while wearing the mask.

4. Think light and reflection. Tape or sew reflective materials onto your child’s costume to make sure that he can be seen in the dark. (If it’s chilly out and he is going to wear a jacket, put reflectors on the jacket as well.) You may also consider having him carry a flashlight or lantern or have one yourself while you hold his hand while trick-or-treating. Adults: carry a flash light with you while trick or treating to light the path and also allow motorists to see your trick or treaters. This will prevent little ones from tripping and falling, potentially breaking their foot or ankle.

5. Opt for safe footwear. Keep in mind that many of the dress-up shoes that come with kids’ costumes are not meant for outdoor use. Make sure shoes fit properly and are not the cheap, plastic kind that have no traction and could cause a child to slip and fall. If the footwear that comes with the costume is the boot-cover type that is made out of fabric or rubber and is meant to simply slip over your child’s regular shoes or sneakers, make sure it’s fitted securely so that it doesn’t slip off and pose a tripping hazard. Better yet, skip the footwear & footwear coverings and just have your child wear his regular shoes when trick-or-treating outdoors.  If your child needs to be fitted for shoes, be sure to stop in this week for a custom show fitting to make sure they wear the best fitting shoes!

For further information about the foot and ankle health for your children, contact Dr. Weinert’s Warren office at 586-751-3338 (FEET), or his  Troy office at 248-362-3338 (FEET). You can also visit Dr. Weinert’s office website for more information at:, where you can request a copy of his FREE book.