With Halloween upon us, dressing up is all part of the fun for both children and adults. To ensure Halloween is fun and safe for all, it is important to take proper precautions for safety. Each year, the US hospital emergency rooms treat several hundred eye injuries related to Halloween costumes and masks. Additionally, it is often very easy for children to be less visible to drivers during evening hours. Prevent Blindness® has provided some helpful safety times to keep in mind this Halloween:
Costumes and Safety
-Avoid costumes with masks, wigs, floppy hats or eye patches that block vision.
-Tie hats and scarves securely so they don’t slip over children’s eyes.
-Avoid costumes that drag on the ground to prevent tripping or falling
-Avoid pointed props such as spears, swords or wands that may harm other children’s eyes.
-Wear bright, reflective clothing or decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape/patches.
-Carry a bright flashlight to improve visibility.
-Do not ride a bike/scooter/skateboard or roller blade while wearing a costume.
-Obey all traffic signals—pedestrian and driver.
-Younger children should go with an adult while trick-or-treating around the neighborhood. Older children should trick-or-treat in groups.
-Use common sense. Never dart out between parked cars or hidden corners such as alleys. Avoid streets under construction.
-Don’t trick or-treat in busy commercial areas or where there is heavy traffic.
-Go trick-or-treating in daylight, as it is safer than going after dark.
-A safer option is to go to a Halloween party instead of trick-or-treating.
-Inspect all trick-or-treat items for signs of tampering before allowing children to eat them.
-Carefully inspect any toys or novelty items received by kids age 3 and younger. These may pose a choking hazard. Avoid giving young kids lollipops as the sticks can cause eye injuries.
-Be sure your lawn, steps, porch and front door are well lit and free from obstacles.
-Keep candles and jack-o’-lanterns away from steps and porches outside, as costumes could brush against them and ignite. Inside, keep them away from curtains and other decorations to avoid causing a fire.
Older kids often complete their Halloween costumes with spooky cosmetic contact lenses. Remember that contact lenses are medical devices and require a valid prescription. Despite this rule however, these contacts are still widely available. If you or your child do decide to wear cosmetic contact lenses, be sure to follow safety guidelines as to not suffer vision impairment. Decorative lenses should only be purchased from a licensed eye care professional, such as an Ophthalmologist or Optometrist. Also be sure to follow all the cleaning and sterilizing instructions carefully and if you experience redness, swelling or discomfort, see an eye care professional immediately.