Halloween eyesHalloween is a time for tricks, treats and things that go bump in the night.  And while it’s fun for kids to put on scary costumes for trick-or-treating and Halloween parties,  you should be careful to avoid something truly frightening – permanent damage to their eyesight. Unfortunately, Halloween is a time for many eye-related hazards, but with some care and planning, you can make sure your little goblins enjoy a safe holiday. Here are some practical tips to protect your children:

Masks & Makeup

Masks are number one on the list for obstructing the vision of Trick-or-Treaters. Either the eye holes can be too small or the mask can shift during wear. Be sure to monitor your childrens’ masks to ensure they have the clearest line of sight possible.

Using makeup is almost always preferable to wearing a mask.  However, makeup must be used carefully. To help avoid eye irritation:

  • Use only products approved for use on the skin.
  • Keep products away from the eyes and remember that products approved for use on skin, hair or nails can still irritate the eyes.
  • Use care in removing makeup and avoid getting any into the eyes.

Decorative Contact Lenses

In the last few years more people have been incorporating decorative contact lenses into their costumes.  These are generally safe if prescribed by and worn under the supervision of an eye doctor.

However, decorative contact lenses can cause serious eye problems if they’re worn improperly. There have been reports of corneal ulcers, corneal abrasion and conjunctivitis caused by improper wear.

Remember: contact lenses, whether decorative or not, are medical devices that must be prescribed by an eye doctor. Never share lenses with anyone and only wear the lenses for the time prescribed by your eye doctor.

See and Be Seen

Here are a few more tips to make certain you or your children can safely see and be seen this Halloween.:

  • Wear reflective clothing or attach reflective tape to costumes and Trick-or-Treat bags.
  • Carry a flashlight (Side note: the “glow sticks” sold at Halloween are filled with chemicals that can cause eye irritation).
  • Tie hats and scarves securely on the head to make certain they don’t slip over the eyes and obstruct vision.

Following these simple tips, and using some common sense, will ensure your child only ends up with a sugar rush this Halloween, rather than a rush to the eye doctor!