Halloween is just around the corner, and for those of us who adore the tradition of transforming ourselves (or our kids) into fairy princesses, zombies and super heroes, there’s no holiday more imaginative and fun. We happily apply the face paint, pin on the fairy wings and slip on that mask…but do we take a moment to make sure what we’re doing is safe? Afterall, nothing would spoil a good trick or treat outing like a hive breakout from that zombie makeup or a twisted ankle from overflowing fabric. So take a look at some common sense tips to ensure that you—and especially your kids—choose Halloween costumes that are as safe as they are cool.

1. Choose Flame Resistant Costumes

A common part of Halloween décor are candles—Jack O’ Lanterns in particular. And all it can take is a long wig or beard or flowing sleeves to turn a trick or treat moment into a disaster. If you’re buying or renting a costume, check for a flame resistant label and if you’re making the costume yourself, be choosey when it comes to materials.

2. Choose Light Colored Costumes or Apply Reflective Tape

Most of us take our kids trick or treating before the sun goes down, but tween-aged kids might choose to go a bit later. If that’s the case, make sure their costumes are visible to motorists by having them wear light colors or applying reflective tape on darker hues.

3. Purchase Accessories that Are Soft and Flexible

The little pirate, zombie hunter or princess naturally needs accessories to complete the supercool look, which is perfectly ok. Just make sure that whatever sword or magic wand you equip him or her with is soft, flexible and harmless. Yes, even if you’re a grownup, following the same guidelines is a good idea.

4. Make Sure Costumes Fit Well

One of the easiest ways to ruin a perfectly good Halloween is to wear an ill-fitting costume—and this goes double for a child. Dresses that are too long can lead to a nasty fall, billowing sleeves can be a fire hazard and head dressings that are too big can slip over eyes and obscure vision.

5. Think Twice About Masks

Your child may be begging to wear a slipover mask to make his costume the coolest on the block, but before giving him the go-ahead, there are a few things to check out. Does the mask fit too loose or too tight? Are there breathing holes in it for nose and mouth? Are the eyeholes big enough and do they properly fit your child’s face? If you have any doubts, skip it. You may hear some grumbles, but a little whining sure beats an injured child. When it comes to adults, make sure you’re not allergic to the mask and yes, other rules apply as well (check that you can breathe properly and see!).

6. Use Non-Toxic Face Paint

There’s no doubt that face paint can make or break a costume—unfortunately, a lot of face paints on the market contain unsafe levels of lead and heavy metals… not good. If you really want to be on the safe side, make your own face paint pretty easily, and that way, you can be in control of ingredients. There are also a handful of brands that are made just for kids with all-natural, safe ingredients, including Luna Star and Pure Poppet.

Are you celebrating Halloween this year? Share your favorite “safe” costume tips with us!