Keeping yourself, your kids, and everyone’s peepers safe this Halloween!

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.

Treats

-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.

Decorations

-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.

 

Optos would like to wish you all a happy and safe Halloween. To protect your vision, make sure you and your family receive an annual retinal exam that includes optomap®.

https://www.verywellhealth.com/halloween-eye-safety-tips-3421885
https://www.preventblindness.org/tips-making-halloween-safe

Halloween Costumes and Eye Safety


Back to School Means More Than Backpacks and Lunch Boxes – Don’t Forget the Eye Exam!

While to some it may feel as though summer has just begun, others are already feeling the pressures of checking off every item on their back to school lists.  With all the hassle of stocking up on school supplies or finding the perfect pair of shoes, there is often one important item that gets left off every parent’s list – a comprehensive eye exam.  Although schools generally do some basic testing of children’s vision, there is no doctor to perform a comprehensive exam or diagnose problems with your child’s eyesight.  According to experts, nearly 90 percent of what is taught in school is done so visually, therefore without excellent vision, children are left at a disadvantage.  Those with poor eyesight may struggle with school and learning, leaving them unable to reach their maximum potential.  A yearly comprehensive eye exam can not only ensure your child’s vision is healthy or corrected, but also rule out diseases that can potentially lead to vision loss.

Just as their bodies are rapidly growing, children’s eye are also changing. The slightest change in vision can cause eye strain, headaches or blurred vision which can be very distracting in school.  Myopia and hyperopia, also known as near or farsightedness, are both common conditions in young children, with the ability to worsen rapidly during the growing years until later stabilizing in teenage years and into their early twenties.

Additionally, with recent increases in digital technology, both at home and in schools, it is important to monitor the face time children and teens have with their digital devices such as laptops, tablets and cell phones.  Many individuals suffer from physical eye discomfort after screen use for more than two hours, reflecting collective symptoms know as digital eye strain.  According to The Vision Council, 72 percent of Americans report their children and teens get more than two hours of screen time per day while 30 percent of this group report they experience at least one of the following symptoms after being exposed for more than two hours:

  • Headaches
  • Neck/shoulder pain
  • Eye strain, dry or irritated eyes
  • Reduced attention span
  • Poor behavior
  • Irritability

With a growing number of schools implementing iPads, tablets or laptops in the classroom, it is even more important to ensure your children’s eye health with routine comprehensive eye exams and identifying any symptoms of digital eye strain in addition to any headaches, eye strain or blurred vision.

Adding comprehensive eye exams to your yearly back to school routines will help ensure a successful school year as well as protect your children’s eye health and future.  Speak to your doctor about including optomap® as part of the exam – it is a non-invasive option for your child and takes only seconds to get a highly-detailed view of the retina, which is critical for early disease detection.

http://yoursightmatters.com/make-eye-exams-back-school-tradition/
https://www.allaboutvision.com/parents/learning.htm
https://www.thevisioncouncil.org/content/digital-eye-strain/teens