Fall has officially arrived, and excitement for the holiday season rolls in with the cool breeze. Soon, adults and children alike will be dressing up in extravagant Halloween costumes, but an unknown horror lies within the October mist. Each year, hundreds of Americans find themselves in the hospital due to eye injuries from their Halloween costumes and accessories. Even with the many horrors of Halloween, nothing compares to the horror of going blind, when it could have easily been prevented. Halloween costumes and accessories have the potential to inflict permanent damage to your eyes if not used safely. People running around at night with sharp objects and wearing off-market costume contacts could be the cause of many vision related eye injuries to be reported around Halloween.
October is Halloween Eye Safety Month and by educating yourself on costume safety, you have a better chance at preventing blindness from happening to you or your children as they are out trick-or-treating. Here are a few eye safety tips:
- Avoid costumes that either fully or partially block vision, such as masks, eye patches, wigs, floppy hats, or fake gore on or around the eye.
- Try to avoid sharp or pointed costume props such as swords, wands, knives, and sticks that may harm other’s eyes.
- Avoid costumes that are extra long and drag across the ground to prevent tripping and falling. Do not ride scooters, bikes, or skateboards if your costume is long.
Some people take their costumes one step further by enhancing or changing their eye color with costume contacts that cover the pupil or even the whole eye. Without the proper precautions, this popular costume accessory can cause various eye conditions such as bacterial infections, conjunctivitis, corneal scratches and even vision loss. At the very least, make sure to never wear costume contacts without a prescription! Also be sure to never share these contacts with others or use someone else’s.
Halloween should be a time for magic and fun, so don’t let vision loss keep you from seeing the horrors of Halloween! Remember to carry a flashlight or lantern when trick-or-treating to prevent falling or running into potentially harmful objects in the dark.