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October Is Halloween Safety Month!

October 1 2022
Halloween display

Halloween is coming up fast, and we’re already getting excited about the spooky fun! But before you start buying your costume and collecting candy, make sure you’re prepared for some of the things that can go wrong on Halloween.

Read on as a Marysville, WA optometrist talks about this Halloween Safety Month and safety tips for trick-or-treating. 

What Is Halloween Safety Month?

Halloween Safety Month is a campaign to promote safety on Halloween and throughout the rest of the year. The campaign provides tips for parents, kids, and teachers on how to keep trick-or-treaters safe from accidents and injuries, while also promoting eye care safety for all children who may be wearing costumes or masks that could block their vision or cause eye damage if they’re not properly fitted.

The celebration includes a variety of events and activities that focus on keeping children safe during Halloween. These events range from special displays at firehouses to educational programs offered by schools and local police departments.

How Did Halloween Safety Month Get Started?

So how did this month-long event get started?

In 1981, the National SAFE KIDS Campaign began promoting the idea of a national holiday on October 31st to help encourage children to be safe around fire, poison, and other dangers. The goal was to create a fun, festive holiday that would encourage parents to talk with their kids about safety. Eventually, Halloween Safety Month was founded by the National Safety Council, worldwide, in 2001 to help prevent unintentional injury and death in children. 

Eye Safety Tips for Halloween

Halloween is almost here, and it’s time to start thinking about eye safety!

This is a great time of year, but it can also be a bit dangerous if you’re not careful. There are a few things you can do to make sure you don’t run into any problems:

  • Don’t wear costumes that cover up your eyes. This includes masks and sunglasses, which should be discarded before entering the house.
  • Be wary of the decorations around your house. Try to avoid hanging things from the ceiling, since they can get caught on things like doorways or windows and pull them open. Also, avoid putting anything near windows that could fall out onto children below.
  • Be careful when opening doors and windows, especially if you have pets or small children running around outside with no supervision!
  • Watch out for loose wires on lights—they’re often hidden under carpets or rugs so they don’t get trampled on during Halloween festivities!

Our Advice for Observing Halloween Safety Month in October 2024

What are the most common eye injuries associated with Halloween costumes and activities?

During Halloween, common eye injuries often stem from costume accessories and activities. Masks and costumes that impair vision can lead to trips and falls, resulting in trauma to the eye area. Additionally, decorative contact lenses without proper fitting and prescription can cause corneal abrasions, infections, and even more severe conditions like vision-threatening infections. Sharp costume props pose risks for scratches or punctures to the eye. Ensuring costumes fit well, using hypoallergenic makeup, and avoiding non-prescription contacts can significantly reduce these risks.

How can parents ensure proper visibility for children wearing masks or costumes with limited vision?

To ensure proper visibility for children wearing masks or costumes with limited vision, parents should choose masks that fit securely while allowing ample room around the eyes. Opt for makeup or face paint as safer alternatives to masks that can obstruct vision. Additionally, costumes should be well-fitted to prevent tripping hazards. It’s crucial to test the costume and mask in various lighting conditions to ensure the child can see clearly. Enhancing costumes with reflective tape and providing flashlights or glow sticks can further improve safety and visibility during nighttime activities.

What are the risks associated with wearing decorative or colored contact lenses as part of Halloween costumes?

Wearing decorative or colored contact lenses without a proper prescription poses several risks. These lenses can cause corneal scratches, infections, and in severe cases, vision loss if not fitted by a professional. Non-prescription lenses may not be manufactured to meet safety standards, leading to potential eye damage from inappropriate material or improper lens care. It’s crucial for anyone considering colored contacts as part of a Halloween costume to consult with an eye care professional to obtain lenses that are both safe and correctly fitted to their eyes.

What role do reflective materials on costumes play in enhancing visibility and safety during night-time trick-or-treating?

Reflective materials on costumes play a crucial role in enhancing visibility and safety during nighttime trick-or-treating. These materials reflect light from car headlights and street lamps, making children more visible to drivers from greater distances. This increased visibility is especially important in low-light conditions where children are at a higher risk of being unnoticed by motorists. By integrating reflective tape, stickers, or other reflective elements into costumes and treat bags, parents can significantly improve their children’s safety by making them stand out in the dark.

What are the potential long-term effects of using unsafe Halloween accessories or makeup near the eyes?

Using unsafe Halloween accessories or makeup near the eyes can lead to several long-term effects. Poor-quality makeup may cause allergic reactions, chronic eye irritation, or dermatitis. Accessories like non-prescription contact lenses can result in corneal ulcers, infections, or potential vision loss if they lead to conditions like keratitis. In severe cases, repeated exposure to harmful substances around the eyes can cause lasting damage, necessitating ongoing treatment. It is crucial to use only hypoallergenic makeup and properly certified accessories to mitigate these risks.

If you have more questions or wish to schedule an eye exam, feel free to call our Marysville, WA optometry office today!

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