Halloween should be a fun time that your child remembers for years to come. Every year, there are several hundred eye injuries related to costumes and masks treated in U.S. hospital emergency rooms. There are many things you can do to ensure your child enjoys a safe Halloween and prevent a night of treats from turning into a night of tragedy.
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.
Cosmetics and Contacts Lenses
- Wear hypoallergenic makeup. Have an adult apply the makeup and remove it with cold cream instead of soap. Use makeup in place of masks.
- Cosmetic contacts that make your eyes look like cat’s eyes may seem like fun, especially at Halloween. However, these lenses come with the same risks as regular contact lenses. This growing fad may seem harmless, but it is not!
- Improper use of cosmetic lenses can lead to serious eye complications. These problems include bacterial infections, swelling, eye pain, sensitivity to light, conjunctivitis (pink eye), corneal scratches, corneal ulceration and even permanent loss of sight.
- Never buy cosmetic contacts without a prescription! Never share your cosmetic contacts with others or use someone else’s contacts.
- Since this fad is popular among teens, be vigilant about older kids’ appearance before letting them leave the house. If they are wearing these contacts, ask where they got them.
- 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.