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Important Safety Tips and Guidelines for Halloween

Outline: Hints and tips provided by authoritative sources including U.S. FDA, Consumer Product Safety Commission, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to enjoy a safe Halloween. Bad costume choices including decorative contact lenses, flammable costumes, and face paint allergies can haunt you long after Halloween if they cause injury. Should a pumpkin carver cut a finger or hand, make sure the hand is elevated higher than the heart and apply direct pressure to the wound with a clean cloth to stop the bleeding.

Main Digest

Whether you're goblin or ghoul, vampire or witch, poor costume choices including decorative contact lenses, flammable costumes, and face paint allergies can haunt you long after Halloween if they cause injury.

Every Halloween, kids across the country parade neighborhoods in search of the most glorious prize: candy. The build-up for Halloween is almost as exciting as the day itself with pre-Halloween festivities like pumpkin-picking, pumpkin carving and selecting the perfect costume for the big day.

Parents know how dangerous Halloween can be for kids. From spiked Halloween candy, costumes that block vision or movement, predators, and teenage pranks, keeping your child safe is the top priority to make it a safe day.

Statistics:

A nine-year study examined holiday-related pediatric emergency room visits between 1997 and 2006. Results of this study show Halloween among the top three holidays producing the most ER visits:

Source: D'Ippolito A, Collins CL, Comstock RD. Epidemiology of pediatric holiday-related injuries presenting to US emergency departments. Pediatrics. 2010 May; 125(5):931-7.

Orange Halloween pumpkins with faces painted on them.
Orange Halloween pumpkins with faces painted on them.

Safety Tips to Enjoy a Safe and Happy Halloween

Eating sweet treats is also a big part of the fun on Halloween. If you're trick-or-treating, health and safety experts say you should remember these tips:

Eye Safety

FDA joins eye care professionals - including the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus, the Contact Lens Association of Ophthalmologists and the American Optometric Association - in discouraging consumers from using illegal decorative (colored) contact lenses. These are contact lenses that have not been approved by FDA for safety and effectiveness. Consumers should only use brand name contact lenses from well-known contact lens companies.

If you have never worn contact lenses before, Halloween should not be the first time you wear them. Experts warn that buying any kind of contact lenses - which are medical devices and regulated as such - without an examination and a prescription from an eye care professional can cause serious eye disorders and infections, which may lead to permanent vision loss. Despite the fact that it's illegal to sell decorative contact lenses without a valid prescription, FDA says the lenses are sold on the Internet and in retail shops and salons - particularly around Halloween.

The decorative lenses make the wearer's eyes appear to glow in the dark, create the illusion of vertical "cat eyes," or change the wearer's eye color.

"Although unauthorized use of decorative contact lenses is a concern year-round, Halloween is the time when people may be inclined to use them, perhaps as costume accessories," says FDA eye expert Bernard Lepri, O.D., M.S., M.Ed.. "What troubles us is when they are bought and used without a valid prescription, without the involvement of a qualified eye care professional, or without appropriate follow-up care. This can lead to significant risks of eye injuries, including blindness."


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Cite: Journal: Disabled World. Language: English. Author: Disabled World. Electronic Publication Date: 2019/10/23. Last Revised Date: 2019/10/23. Reference Title: "Important Safety Tips and Guidelines for Halloween", Source: Important Safety Tips and Guidelines for Halloween. Abstract: Hints and tips provided by authoritative sources including U.S. FDA, Consumer Product Safety Commission, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to enjoy a safe Halloween. Retrieved 2019-11-14, from https://www.disabled-world.com/disability/emergency/advisories/halloween-safety.php - Reference Category Number: DW#445-12450.
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