Angie's List Data Shows Average Halloween Tab is $30 for Costume Creation

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A nationwide Web poll on the popular site found 45 percent said they plan to buy their kids' dress up clothes at a store; respondents will spend on average $30 for costume creation.

Halloween can be great fun, no matter what your age

Angie's List (http://www.angieslist.com ), a consumer organization that helps homeowners nationwide find reliable help in more than 280 categories of service, conducted a poll of its members and found that 45 percent said they plan to buy their kids' costumes at a store, 18 percent said they will create their Halloween garb from scratch.

Among adults, 28 percent said they plan to dress up for either a Halloween party or to take their kids trick or treating. Of those, 31 percent said they'd make their dress up costume from scratch, while only 4 percent said they plan to rent.

"Halloween can be great fun, no matter what your age," said Angie Hicks, founder of Angie's List. "It's a favorite among kids and it brings out the kid in many adults. In fact, a nationwide poll on our Web site found respondents will spend on average $30 for costume creation."

No matter how you're creating your costume, Hicks emphasizes that safety should be the main priority, especially for kids. With this in mind, Angie's List offers the following tips to keep your little ghosts and goblins safe this Halloween:

Angie's 11 safety tips for Halloween costumes:

1. Only fire-retardant materials should be used for Halloween attire. Avoid loose hanging parts such as sashes, shredded parts or overly long sleeves, which can easily catch fire from a jack-o-lantern or candle or get caught on something.

2. Check the warning labels on all items used for dress up. If they contain lead, choose another costume. Lead poisoning can cause irreversible brain damage to young children.

3. Costumes should be loose, so warm clothes can be worn underneath without restricting arm or leg movement.

4. Costumes that are too long and oversized shoes are tripping hazards. Avoid both.

5. Test any new makeup products in a small area of the inside of the arm to prevent reactions from latex or other adhesive allergies.

6. Consider hair-coloring products as an alternative to wigs. Check the product for information on washing and any concerns for dyed or chemically treated hair.

7. Outfits should be made with light-colored materials. Strips of reflective tape should be used to make children more visible.

8. Attach your child's name, address and telephone number (including their area code) to his or her clothes in case your child gets lost or separated from you.

9. If masks are worn, be sure holes for the eyes, nose and mouth are large enough for comfort and not restrictive.

10. Knives, swords and other accessories should be made from cardboard or flexible materials. Do not allow children to carry sharp objects.

11.Bags or sacks carried by youngsters should be light-colored or trimmed with retro-reflective tape if trick-or-treaters are allowed out after dark.

Angie's Halloween tips for homeowners:

• Clear the yard. Look out for things such as ladders, hoses, dog leashes and flower pots that can trip trick-or-treaters. Also check for low tree limbs, support wires and hard-to-see fences between yards.

• Be careful with candles. Opt for a plug-in or battery-powered jack-o-lantern instead of using a live candle. If you insist on a live flame, be sure it is away from any possible exposure to trick-or-treaters' costumes, or where they will be walking or standing.

• Secure your pets. Be sure your pets are put away or arrange for them to stay somewhere else. Some pets become frightened; others may become territorial or even aggressive towards trick-or-treaters.

• Light the path. Check that the path and stairs to your front door are well illuminated and clear of obstacles. While it's tempting to create a dark and spooky home theme, poor lighting can be a major safety hazard.

• And, speaking of treats -- Consider some healthier options like low-fat crackers, single-serve boxes of cereal, packaged fruit rolls or raisins; or non-food treats such as (unsharpened) pencils, stickers or coins.

*2,195 Angie's List members took our poll. Responses are representative of Web site members, but not the general public.

Angie's List is where thousands of consumers share their ratings and reviews on local contractors and companies in more than 280 different categories. Currently, more than 600,000 consumers across the U.S. rely on the Web site to help them find the right costume, contractor or company for the job they need done. Members have unlimited access to the list via Internet or phone; receive the Angie's List magazine, which includes articles on home improvement and maintenance, consumer trends and scam alerts; and they can utilize the complaint resolution service. Get more information at http://www.angieslist.com. Get more consumer tips at http://www.angieslisttips.com/.

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Cheryl Reed
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