With Halloween around the corner, pumpkins, costumes and candy are on many people’s minds, especially the children! Everyone is looking for ways to dress up and celebrate the spooky day, and it is important to remember some key safety points while preparing yourself or your kids for parties and trick or treating.
The AAO (American Academy of Ophthalmology) has named October Halloween Safety Month, and for good reason. There are many unfortunate eye injurie that occur on Halloween, most of which can be avoided by keeping a few very simple safety tips in mind when dressing up and going out.
Choosing a costume
There are just a few things to keep in mind when choosing what to wear.
Fake Contact Lenses: Many people choose to wear colored contact lenses to change the color and look of their eyes. However, unless these lenses are purchased from a licensed eye care professional, there is a serious risk of infection, corneal scratches, ulcers, scarring and even vision loss in extreme cases. Make sure to contact and order these lenses from your eye care professional to make sure they are the correct prescription, size, and shape for your eyes, and follow all directions given. If you experience redness, swelling or discomfort, see an eye care professional immediately.
Masks: If masks or other headwear is worn, make sure it does not block vision.
Costume length: Wear costumes that do not drag on the ground so as to avoid tripping or falling.
Props: Avoid pointed or sharp props (such as wands or swords) to avoid possible injury to yourself, your child, or those around you. Props such as these can cause serious and lasting damage if in contact with the eyes.
On the Night
Make-up: Be sure to avoid eye areas and to use hypoallergenic brands. If make-up begins to run during the evening, be sure to wipe it up before it makes contact with the eye to avoid irritation, and to clean it off at the end of the evening using make-up remover wipes.
Visibility: While trick or treating, children should always have a flashlight and reflective tape on either costumes or bags to improve visibility for both other trick or treaters, and cars.
Wheels: Bikes, scooters, skateboards, and other wheeled sports equipment should not be ridden in costume to avoid getting caught in the wheels.
Groups: Young children should be accompanied by an adult, and older children should trick or treat in groups so as to improve visibility and safety.
Should any eye injury occur, or if you, or your child experiences and redness, swelling or discomfort you should see your eyecare 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®.