Mother stresses Halloween safety after mask injures son

Mother stresses Halloween safety after mask injures son

PINE BELT (WDAM) - A Pine Belt mother is stressing Halloween costume safety after her son was injured by his costume.

Kimberly Sweatt bought her 4-year-old son a Captain America costume at the Walmart in Laurel.

According to Sweatt, when he pulled off the mask to his costume it took the skin off of his forehead.

"I didn't check the mask, which I know I should have done," Sweatt said. "All around the mask on the inside of the eyes are these sharp edges."

Sweatt said she wanted to warn other parents so that this won't happen to their children.

"You think its safe, and we as parents vow to protect our kids from these types of things," Sweatt said. "I know we can't protect them from everything, but this is a scar he will have for life."

Sweatt said she has tried contacting the company, Marvel Kids, about the incident, but has not received a response back.

As far as her son's costume goes, she said he no longer wants to be Captain America after the incident.

"We have decided to make our own costume this year. He is going to be Superman," Sweatt said.

David Booth, the manager of Ultimate Party in Hattiesburg, said this type of injury is a rare occurrence, but stresses the importance of trying on the costume first before buying.

"There are normally no hazard to children's costumes, they come packaged pretty safe," Booth said. "Here we let parents try on the costumes in the dressing rooms before buying so they can check the costume themselves."

Booth also said that costumes in store are checked numerous times by staff, including the cashiers before checkout.

"A lot of boys stuff comes with masks and things of that nature, which can limit visibility," Booth said.

Booth also said another danger with costumes is that most don't come with reflective tape.

"We suggest buying glowsticks or putting reflective tape on the costume," Booth said.

Hattiesburg police want to remind all parents that there are several factors to consider before sending your kids out trick-or-treating that extends beyond costume safety.

Hattiesburg Police Public Information Officer Lt. Jon Traxler issued the following statement as a reminder to parents that safety comes first this Halloween season:

"As we approach Halloween we want to remind all of the parents of our small trick-or-treaters that safety is the ultimate goal and then fun.

Try these Halloween costume safety tips to avoid injury this year:

  • Choose fire-retardant costumes. Look for a label that indicates flame-resistance on any costumes, wigs, and headpieces you purchase. If you're making the costume yourself, examine the fabric content and talk the salesperson to help you choose the least flammable material. 
  • Use make-up instead of masks. Hypoallergenic, non-toxic face paint is a better choice than a mask, which may obscure your child's vision and hinder his breathing. If you do opt for a mask, cut oversized holes for his/her eyes and mouth, and encourage him/her to take the mask off each time he crosses the street. 
  • Avoid oversized costumes and shoes that can trip her up. Choose comfortable shoes and make sure clothes don't drag on the ground. 
  • Select light-colored costumes when possible. This makes it easier for drivers to spot trick-or-treaters. For costumes that have to be dark, accessorize with a white pillowcase your child can use to stash his loot and help him stand out in the dark. 
  • Attach reflective tape to her costume to make her easier to spot. A few strips on her back, front, and goodie bag should do the trick. If she's planning on biking or skateboarding, stick some tape on that as well. 
  • Ensure your child's emergency information (name, number, and address) are somewhere on his/her clothes or on a bracelet if you're not going to be with him. 
  • Choose accessories that are smooth and flexible. Look for swords, knives, and other accessories that don't look too realistic or have sharp ends or points.