Every child gets energized this time of year as they pick out their Halloween costume and look forward to the much-anticipated day of trick-or-treating. As part of its Toxic Free Kids initiative, the Children’s Cancer Recovery Foundation (CCRF) recommends that parents and guardians be cautious about their choices and purchases.
Many Halloween costumes require the application of makeup. The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics has found that 10 out of 10 kids’ Halloween makeup tested positive for lead. Lead is banned from makeup in both Canada and Europe, but is permitted at any level in makeup in the U.S. The Centers for Disease Prevention and Control recommends that parents not use any face paints that could contain lead.
You should also be mindful of certain costume elements, such as masks, swords and jewelry as these items can be colored with lead paint. In addition, some rubber items like a mask contain lead as a fire retardant and a chemical used to make rubber.
CCRF provides some helpful tips as you prepare for Halloween:
- Create homemade costumes so that you know the specific type of material and pieces being used.
- Use safe art supplies such as natural fabrics and paper mache.
- Make your own face paint from natural products and ingredients.
- Purchase costumes intended for children that are marked non-toxic and regulated for lead.
- Choose costumes without face paint or masks, which can also be toxic.
- Avoid items manufactured in countries with a record of regulatory non-compliance.
About Children’s Cancer Recovery Foundation (CCRF)
Headquartered in Harrisburg, PA with a division in The Woodlands, TX, the Children’s Cancer Recovery Foundation supports children under 18 and their families facing the hardships of cancer. The foundation performs acts of care and kindness through the following programs: Bear-Able Gifts (largest distributor of gifts to children with cancer in the U.S.); Toxic-Free Kids (educates families on the dangers of environmental toxins); New Era Cancer Research Fund (funds research for less toxic, minimally-invasive pediatric-cancer treatments); International Aid (provides medications and supplies to clinics in developing and impoverished countries); Helping Hands Fund (provides emergency financial assistance to families); and Camp Scholarships (allows children in remission to reconnect with activities they love). With a national pediatric-hospital partner network of 215+ locations, the foundation directly helps more than 15,000 children affected by cancer and their families every year.