Don’t Let Your Costume Cause a Scare
Tips for Safe Halloween Fashion Fun
>(Wahiawa, Hawaii) September 30, 2016 – This Halloween, Americans are planning to spend an estimated $3.1 billion on costumes alone, according to the National Retail Federation. Although dressing up as your favorite fictional or nonfictional character can be fun, it can also be hazardous, especially for your eyes. Makeup, decorative contact lenses and props can cause temporary discomfort and even long-term damage to your eyes.
“Keiki, and a lot of adults, enjoy dressing up for Halloween, but they often don’t think about the things they choose to put in and around their eyes,” said Christopher Tortora, M.D., Medical Director of Hawaiian Eye Center. “Everyone should take simple precautions by reading labels and doing a little research.”
Makeup and face paint are common staples for many costumes. It’s important to be careful when applying any product around your eyes. The Food and Drug Administration advises consumers to look closely at packaging to make sure it states that the product is hypoallergenic and that any color additives are FDA-approved for use on or near the eyes (list found here). If any makeup or face paint does get into your eyes, flush out with cool water.
Decorative, nonprescription contact lenses are also very popular choices during Halloween, but experts do not recommend using them unless they are prescribed by an eye care professional. Contacts from party supply and costume stores may contain low quality plastic and toxic dyes that can be very dangerous.
Both prescription and nonprescription (colored, stylized, etc.) contacts should only be purchased through an eye care professional. Contacts need to be fitted, cleaned and used properly to prevent serious infections, which can lead to blindness. A professional will make sure to provide you with the necessary instructions for use and care.
The perfect accessory is necessary to top off any good costume, but steer clear of any props that are sharp and pointed. This is especially important for children. All props should be made of soft or flexible materials to help decrease the risk of accidents. Watch out for sharp edges on masks and hats.
Good visibility while in costume is another important safety factor to keep in mind. Masks, hats and other accessories should fit so they don’t block your vision. For families and children trick-or-treating at night, use flashers or reflective tape on costumes so passing motorists can see you.
Eye injuries that are persistent or appear to be serious should be seen by a doctor immediately. Taking a few precautions to help minimize irritating or damaging your eyes can make your Halloween both safe and fun.