The spookiest day of the year is just around the corner, where all the ghosts and ghouls come out to play. Halloween is a holiday built for all ages, particularly children, but tends to be particularly busy for eye doctors due to scary and spooky injuries that can happen! While enjoying a holiday encompassed with costumes, trick-or-treating and parties, it is important to also remember eye safety. Every year there are hundreds of costume-related and other completely avoidable eye injuries treated in emergency rooms throughout the United States.
The AAO (American Academy of Ophthalmology) has named October Halloween Safety Month, aiming to increase safety precautions surrounding fall activities and Halloween trick or treating. There are several simple steps everyone can take that will help keep Halloween safe, fun and still spooky for all.
The best place to start is with Halloween costume safety. Avoid costume features that either fully or partially block the vision such as masks, eye patches, wigs, floppy hats, or droopy headpieces. Also try to avoid sharp or pointed costume props such as wands, swords and sticks that may harm other children’s eyes. Finally, avoid costumes that are excessive in length and drag on the ground in order to prevent tripping and falling.
Additional Halloween Safety Tips to follow:
- Trick-or-treat during the day to ensure proper lighting and to ensure better navigation of the sidewalks.
- If you are going trick-or-treating at night, bring a flashlight so paths are clearly lit. Flashlights also make children more visible to drivers.
- Ensure that costumes are bright and reflective for increased visibility by drivers.
- Young trick-or-treaters should be accompanied by an adult so that they can be assisted. Older children should trick-or-treat in groups to ensure safety.
- Be careful when using decorative contact lenses. Contact lenses are medical devices and can cause vision loss if not used safely. If you are going to use such lenses, ensure that your optometrist fits and evaluates the contacts for you.
- Obey all traffic laws, whether driving or walking.
- Do not allow children to use bikes, skateboards, scooters or rollerblades when they are wearing their costumes.
- Use makeup with care. Be sure to use hypoallergenic makeup and avoid the eyes. Have wipes handy to clean your child’s face should it begin to melt or run down their face during the course of the evening. If using false eyelashes be sure to follow the instructions.
It’s important to stay safe during Halloween, but things can, and do happen. So, if you think you, your child, or someone you know has reacted badly to their eye-makeup or accidentally poked themselves in the eye, see your family eye doctor as soon as possible.