Halloween is almost here, and everyone knows that there can be lots of fun with costumes, parties, and trick or treaters. A favorite pastime for children for generations is going from door to door in outlandish costumes to collect candy. However, in the middle of the seasonal festivities, fear and trepidation can lurk, especially for parents with children with hearing impairments. While events and parties can be monitored and somewhat controlled, many unknowns still raise concerns about safety for those suffering from hearing loss. Fortunately, there are good practices, such as our Halloween safety tips below, that can help protect your kids and help ensure the night is fun for all.
Almost every kid loves Halloween and will count the days until it arrives, dreaming of their favorite costume and hoping for a mountain of candy on that special night. Children with hearing loss are no different and need a little extra consideration to make sure they also have a fun and safe experience. Check out these essential Halloween safety tips to ensure a safe and memorable Hallowwen for those that are hard of hearing.
• Do a practice run of Halloween night to ensure that any potential issues are discovered and taken care of beforehand. Large wigs and costumes that cover the head can interfere or tangle with hearing assist devices. Long robes, dresses, and oversized costumes can also present issues, so make sure you have all the problems worked out before they head out.
• Make sure your child can be seen even in the darkest of environments. While going from house to house is a fun way to meet neighbors and collect treats, dark streets present one of the biggest dangers on Halloween night. It is important to acquire costumes and accessories that include such elements as reflective strips or light-up features; the best practice is to have both, just in case one fails. If your child’s costume does not come equipped with any of these features, you can easily add a flashlight or reflective tape to the ensemble.
• If hearing assist devices are part of the picture, first make sure their costume does not interfere with its operation. While some costumes may become tangled or are covered up your child’s hearing aid, others are made from materials that can make sounds when moving around in them. The proximity to the device can make it hard to hear sounds that are further away. It is also a great idea to have extra batteries on hand, just in case.
• Be especially careful with masks; many interfere with hearing assist devices and restrict visibility. It’s a good idea to avoid masks and use face paint. Of course, this year, for many, that is unavoidable due to health concerns. If this is the case, opt for transparent masks so that those who read lips can still see them.