Halloween Safety for Kids who are BlindPublished on
Fall is a fun and exciting time of the year for kids, young and old. They look forward to attending fall festivals, pumpkin patches, and celebrating the candy bounty of Halloween night. However, some of these events can overwhelm kids who are blind. For some kids with blindness, their sensory system can kick into overdrive which leaves parents with concerns over participating in Halloween events. But with some minor adjustments, all kids, especially those who are blind, can have a safe and fun Halloween experience.
Halloween Costumes and Comfort
We often associate masks with dressing up in costumes. However, for a child with low vision, a mask can impede their vision. The number one alternative to a mask is hypoallergenic makeup. You can create a zombie with seeping wounds or a sparkling fairy with the right makeup. You should still avoid the eye area and test all products on the skin before a complete application.
When picking a costume, it is important to look at the length. Be sure to avoid anything that can cause a tripping hazard. As your child makes their way from house to house, the easier it is for your child to move freely, the better.
Another thing to consider with a costume is the sensory needs of your child. We recommend having your child wear the costume around the house before venturing out into the evening. If they can move about with ease and find the costume to be comfortable, you have hit a homerun for Halloween fun.
Finding a comfortable and safe costume can be as easy as rooting through the pajama drawer or as complicated as sewing something unique. Thrift stores and children’s consignment shops also have a lot of barely worn costumes at reasonable prices.
Many Fall and Halloween events occur during daylight hours. A community guide or local news site is likely to be your best bet for finding all sorts of well-lit or daytime events. However, if the nighttime thrill is what your child is looking for, there are alternative options to the door-to-door, traditional trick-or-treating.
Many schools, churches, and community centers offer evening events like: “Trunk or Treat,” “Fall Festivals,” and other “not-so-scary” events. All of these are often easier for children with visual impairments to navigate. Not to mention it’s easier for mom and dad to keep a close eye on their little sprites.
If your child plans on making the neighborhood rounds going door-to-door, make sure people can see them coming and going. Reflective costumes are by far the easiest way to go, with reflective tape as a close second. Glow sticks and glow accessories are other favorites with kids on Halloween.
Unwritten Rules of Halloween and Trick-or-Treating for Safety
There are some unwritten rules that add to a safe Halloween for all kids, big and little.
First, look for homes with the front light on and that look like they are handing out candy. Not everyone remembers to turn off the lights when not participating in handing out treats.
A good rule of thumb is to avoid entering a stranger’s home. Some families go all out and turn their home into a haunted house. Just remember residential homes are not required to adhere to fire codes. Also, the lighting might not be suitable for a child with low vision.
We all enjoy diving into the candy bag; however, until you get a chance to check it all out, only share candy from people you know and trust.
So, whether your child likes a brightly lit pumpkin field and corn maze or a dimly lit street, there is something for everyone to enjoy this time of year. Happy Fall, and have a safe Halloween from all of us at Braille Works.
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