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From carving jack-o-lanterns to toasting pumpkin seeds and counting candy, I have many fond memories of celebrating Halloween as a kid.

But what's the best part about Halloween? You don't have to be a kid to enjoy the fun!

One of the best ways that I tell parents to get involved is by helping their kids select a safe and memorable costume. Children take pride in their costumes—which is why it's so important for parents to help make them not only safe, but also a success.

Here are a few tips to help parents and their kids pick the ideal Halloween costume:


Your trick-or-treater will need to be able to walk, run, and climb stairs with ease in his or her costume. Always consider how the costume will affect your child's gross motor skills before they leave the house. Avoid bulky costumes with large accessories like tails or wings when possible.


When it comes to selecting the ideal footwear for your child on Halloween night, always choose function before fashion. Comfortable tennis shoes or boots (weather depending) are going to be the best options for your trick-or-treater. Avoid sandals, open-toed shoes, clogs, or high heels to reduce the risk of blisters, cuts, and stubbed toes.


If your child's costume comes with a mask or other head wear, be sure to give it a test run to make sure they can see, breathe, and be comfortable for an extended period of time. Watch out for elastic straps that may tighten and cause discomfort. Respects your child's decision if they choose not to wear a troublesome piece of the costume. They will look great no matter what!


Historically, temperatures in Omaha have ranged from the low 30s to the high 80s on Halloween night. Looking for easy ways to incorporate layers into your child's costume to keep them warm without affecting the look can be a challenge. Be sure to check the weather before heading out the door to avoid discomfort. Parents can also add glow sticks and lights to their child's costume to make them more visible once the sun goes down.

It is important for parents to let their children get actively involved in the selection of their own Halloween costumes. You can even reduce the frustration of decision making by offering your child two or three different options.

When children are given the chance to make a choice of their own, it makes them feel more independent. This boost in self-confidence can even make your child more eager to participate in the festivities and interact with others on Halloween.

Matthew Gibson, MD

Methodist Physicians Clinic Regency Pediatrics

Dr. Gibson is a pediatrician in the Omaha area who answers your question about child development and parenting. He chose to specialize in pediatrics, because, "Kids are fun. You get to see them grow, and 'oh my gosh' here's their personality." In working with kids, he gets to be a lifelong learner as he's watching the children grow throughout their lives. He enjoys hearing his patient's stories and learning how he can be the strongest advocate possible for them and to make ...

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