The pumpkins are out, the leaves are changing, and fall is in the air. Pumpkin patches are in full swing and children’s Halloween costumes are being planned. To boot – 2020 brings about a full moon on Halloween so we want to do our part to keep our little ghouls and goblins out of harm’s way. Trick or Treating can be a fun time for children and families and there are a few tips we’d like to share to keep everyone safe.
KEEP A CLEAR LINE OF VISION
Does your costume or its accessories obstruct your view? Masks, wigs, and eye patches may make an outfit complete, but make sure your child can see. Some masks are very dangerous for children because they block their side vision and can cause a trip hazard. You might want to consider decorating your child’s face with face paint or makeup.
FDA APPROVED MAKEUP
If you decide to disguise your child with makeup instead of a mask, use hypo-allergenic options, and keep makeup away from the eyes. Make sure that any color additives to the face paints are FDA approved (check the Summary of Additives on the FDA website). When applying makeup near or around the eye, stay away from the lid margin, or lash line—the area where you would normally apply eyeliner. If you are applying make-up very close to the eye, use only products approved for use in that area such as an eyeliner or eyeshadow. Do not use blush or lip-liner to create a “red” effect. It is a good idea to carry a damp towel or washcloth in case the makeup begins to run while trick-or-treating.
Use a makeup remover or cotton ball with baby oil for safe removal after a night of fun.
DECORATIVE CONTACT LENSES CAN BE DANGEROUS
Decorative lenses that appear to glow in the dark or create the illusion of “cat eyes” are popular with teens. Buying the decorative contact lenses from a source other than an eye doctor can open the door to health issues.
Did you know according to the FDA that it is illegal to sell decorative contact lenses without a valid prescription? This would include the lenses that are sold on the internet, in retail shops and salons. Decorative lenses from unlicensed manufacturers may be made from inferior plastic or may contain toxic dyes. Untrained individuals may not follow proper hygiene while inserting or removing the devices. Eye infections related to improper wearing and handling of contact lenses can rapidly develop into infection and corneal ulcers, which can cause permanent blindness.
TRIP HAZARDS WITH LONG COSTUMES
Dark streets, porch steps and uneven ground are challenging especially for young children. Be sure your child’s costume ends well above their ankles to avoid a trip hazard. Use well-fitting shoes or boots for safe walking. Make sure your child’s costume is flame resistant and avoid baggy, billowing skirts and cloaks that might brush against a candle-lit jack-o’-lantern or luminary.
SHARP OBJECTS TO BE USED AS PROPS CAN BE DANGEROUS
Some costumes don’t seem complete without swords or wands. Sharp, pointed props endanger your child’s eyes as well as the eyes of others. If your child must carry a sword, find a belt carrier or scabbard where the sword can stay safely nestled while the kids roam the neighborhood. Buy or construct only accessories made of soft or flexible materials.
REFLECTIVE COSTUMES ARE A MUST
See and be seen! Give trick-or-treaters flashlights to find their way in the dark. There are several glow in the dark devices children can wear such as necklaces or glow sticks. If the costume your child chooses is not made of reflective material, sew on reflective fabric strips or use stick-on strips of reflective tape. You want your child to be seen, especially crossing streets in the dark. Place reflective material on the front, back, and sides of your child’s costume.
Happy haunting….be informed, be safe and have a Happy Halloween.
About Bissell Eye Care: John D. Bissell, OD owns and operates Bissell Eye Care servicing Northern Pittsburgh and Alle-Kiski Valley regions. With two locations to treat patients, we offer evening and Saturday appointments. Bissell Eye Care provides comprehensive eye examinations for the entire family beginning as early as 6 months, ocular disease detection and treatment, eyeglasses, sunglasses, activewear, contact lenses, and low vision examinations for those with significant vision loss. We accept most types of vision and health insurance plans. For more information, visit bisselleyecare.com or call our Bakerstown Office at 724-443-6767 or Natrona Heights office at 724-226-0444.