Want to take your child trick-or-treating but aren’t sure if it’s safe for kids who are blind or low vision? New board member Tracy Kinoshita offers tips that helped her son Michael have a Happy Halloween!
Trick-or-Treating Tips from Tracy
Some tips for trick-or-treating with blind and low vision children from my experience are keep costumes relatively simple.
Accessories and layers tend to fall off or not hang well and cause additional tripping hazards, especially when they are excited and running from house to house. For those who use a cane it is just one more thing to juggle.
Many blind and low vision children are more sensitive to how things feel. An itchy or otherwise uncomfortable costume can make for a cranky trick-or-treater.
If your child is trick-or-treating with someone who is not familiar with how your child navigates sidewalks, drive ways, crossing the street, etc. – be sure to do a test run showing them how to do it. Use flashlights and verbally call out obstacles as you approach them.
You may want to avoid masks, wigs, and costume glasses. In addition to often being uncomfortable and ill-fitting, if your child has some vision these items can block some of that which increases the chances of an injury.
Let your child wear the costume a day or two before you attend any Halloween parties or go trick-or-treating for a little while. Familiarity with how it may impede mobility is important. Many costumes do not fit like their regular clothes so you may need to hem legs, adjust waistbands to keep them from dragging, or open up seams where it may be constricting which can make your child more comfortable.
Michael did not like hats/headwear but tended to want costumes that included them so we would give it a test run. The biggest tip: be flexible. A pirate doesn’t need a pirate hat and an eye patch. Blue from Blue’s Clues is still Blue without his ears and paws. Enjoying make-believe is what is fun and helps children grow and express themselves…. and usually you can get one picture before leaving the house with the costume intact.