Don't make these mistakes dressing your child for Halloween.

When your kid steps out of the store closet with red stained clothes and streaks of fake blood pouring out of her mouth, don't say we didn't warn you! Parents, Halloween can be fun for your kids and stress free for you. But we need to be vigilant about some of the pitfalls of buying Halloween costumes.

1) Newsflash, your kid knows how to manipulate you and will do so when you expect it the least. Yes, that sweet angle face who wants to dress in the most ill-fitting and inappropriate costume knows all the buttons she needs to press to get her way. When costumes decorate store shelves before Halloween, ear shattering shrieks from calculating little tots fill the store halls. Echoes of "I'm glad it's not my problem" follow the performance of young little manipulators working relentlessly to bend their parents' will. Don't be "that" parent, red faced, embarrassed and rushing out. Bottom line, you'll be bullied by your own DNA into buying the most expensive, least attractive and probably most offensive costume in the store. Do yourself and your fellow shoppers a solid and take your kids pirate costume purchases online.

2) We've all been there. You spend hours being picky and choosy while selecting an outfit for your kid only to be rebuffed by your little munchkin. That's why wise parents involve their children in the costume selection process. But don't just let your kid explore the net looking for a costume on their own. When involving your child in their costume search, keep in mind that searches for costumes show results filled with different websites and not all are kid friendly. Take some time to pre-select appropriate costumes for your child without them present. This way, you protect your little one from ugly sites peddling adult material and you ensure that the costume they select will be pre-approved by you. Clever you.

3) So what should you look for in a pirate costume for kids? Above all, think about safety and comfort during Halloween. Will the costume be used for trick-or-treating? School party? If the activity involves a lot of walking, outdoor time, you need to select a costume that will be warm and flexible. Don't go for a lot frill or plastic parts because these can inhibit movement and may get in the way of movement. Avoid loose clothing, ropes and hanging material that is easy to trip over. Take into account how your little one will be able to walk in the costume. Consider traditional costumes that are simple yet elegant and are the least likely to offend others. Be sure to avoid costumes with masks- your child will be unrecognizable in photos and will have no memento of the event. More importantly, a mask inhibits visibility and can make walking the street at night dangerous. Take your child's measurements carefully and use the sizing chart, if the weather is cool, allow for thermal underwear and order a larger size to accommodate the bulk.

4) Halloween is a great opportunity to trick your little kid into learning. Making Halloween educational is incredibly easy and can be fun and make all that high fructose corn syrup your child will consume worthwhile. Whatever costume theme your child chooses, read up on some fun facts and present them in an easy to understand way to your child. For example, take pirate costumes and the topic of piracy. There are countless myths surrounding pirates, such as peg legs, eye-patches, parrots and buried treasure. When you get your costume and you are ready to put it on, talk about each of these myths and try to find examples in popular culture where they were started. Better yet, channel your kid's curiosity into a good book like Treasure Island and encourage them to locate some of the myths about pirates that they find. For each myth they uncover, give them a piece of candy or two.

To conclude, don't forget to enjoy and try not to let the stress of good parenting interfere with the joys of Halloween! After all, as with every day, the most important thing is to see your child safe and happy.

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