Zietchick Research Institute provides Halloween Eye Safety Recommendations

Researchers at Zietchick Research Institute have been asked whether Halloween can be scary for eye health and vision safety?

At Zietchick Research Institute, we know that everyone loves Halloween!  But we are concerned about the yearly  spike in eye injuries on Halloween.  Parents and kids can insure that Halloween is safe for eyes by avoiding non-prescription costume contact lenses, using costume make-up safely, and avoiding vision and eye hazards.

 Halloween decorative contact lenses safe?  NO!

Non-prescription contact lenses are NOT safe and should NEVER be worn, warns  Zietchick Research Institute.  They are not subject to FDA safety regulations. They can have jagged edges or carry infections because not sanitized properly. Those who wish to use any kind of decorative contact lenses-- whether to change eye color daily or for a Halloween costume-- should consult an eye doctor for a prescription.  There are prescription cosmetic and costume contact lenses available. Use of non-prescription costume contact lenses is one of the leading causes of eye injury on Halloween.  Don't let your scary Halloween eyes become scary eyes, literally.

 Can Halloween eye make-up be used safely?

Halloween eye make-up can be fun and safe if care is taken in choosing and applying make-up.  Eye doctors recommend that people use hypoallergenic make-up; avoid sharing eye-make-up; avoid painting right to the edge of the eye; and wash eye make-up off with soap and water before going to bed. Make-up can attract microbes over time, so don't re-use the make-up from last Halloween that you found in the holiday box.  Testing make-up on a small patch of arm several days in advance can reveal any personal sensitivities before wider use. Carrying a moist wash-cloth to parties or to trick-or-treating  provides convenient relief if sweating causes make-up to drip into and irritate the eye. 

 Zietchick Research Institute warns that many inexpensive costume make-up kits on the market have  tested positive for lead and other metals that can pose health risks.   Purchasing hypoallergenic make-up or creating home-made make-up could reduce such risks.  For a report on lead and other toxins in costume make-up kits, see: http://www.safecosmetics.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Pretty-Scary.pdf

What other safety precautions can be taken to protect eye health on Halloween?

Impeded vision can contribute to falls or accidents.   Zietchick Research Institute  urges that masks, wigs, and hats should not block vision, and costume-length should not pose tripping dangers. Flashlights can increase safety if trick-or-treating in the dark.

Halloween props such as spears or swords can pose dangers of accidental eye-poking.  The Center for Disease Control recommends that all such props be short, soft, flexible, and that they not have pointy ends.