HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – With Halloween around the corner, now is the time to plan a costume. The state Health Department recommends you keep a few things in mind to keep that costume safe on the big night.
First, decorative contact lenses can cause harm if not properly fitted. While they may look extra spooky, the long term impacts can be outright disastrous.
Health officials say decorative contacts can cause blindness or the loss of an eye unless they’re properly fitted and prescribed by a licensed practitioner.
“Decorative contact lenses are not only dangerous, but they’re also illegal without a prescription,” said Nate Wardle, a Health Department spokesman. “It’s illegal for someone to sell it to you if you don’t have a prescription, and it’s also illegal for you to have them in if you don’t have a prescription.”
The state says another thing to take precaution with is face and body paint.
“Any form of makeup. First, you want to make sure that you test it somewhere to make sure you don’t break out in a rash and don’t have any irritation from it,” Wardle said.
The FDA encourages you to be your own detective. Go to its website, search through the makeup’s ingredients list, and make sure the manufacturer is obeying the law by only using safe, approved color additives.
Don’t leave it on longer than you have to. “Once you use it, you want to take it off right away, especially before you go to bed,” said Wardle. “You don’t want to leave it on overnight.”
Whether you’re ordering that costume online, buying it in the store, or making it yourself, make sure it fits properly. If it doesn’t, don’t risk falling. Find a fix.
“We know that kids run from house to house and they get really excited this time of year,” Wardle said. “Make sure they can see clearly through the eye holes, that it’s not moving all over the place.”
The Centers for Disease Control says you can use the acronym SAFE HALLOWEEN to stay safe:
S – Swords, knives, and other costume accessories should be short, soft, and flexible.
A – Avoid trick-or-treating alone. Walk-in groups or with a trusted adult.
F – Fasten reflective tape to costumes and bags to help drivers see you.
E – Examine all treats for choking hazards and tampering before eating them. Limit the number of treats you eat.
H – Hold a flashlight while trick-or-treating to help you see and others see you. WALK and don’t run from house to house.
A – Always test make-up in a small area first. Remove it before bedtime to prevent possible skin and eye irritation.
L – Look both ways before crossing the street. Use crosswalks wherever possible.
L – Lower your risk for serious eye injury by not wearing decorative contact lenses.
O – Only walk on sidewalks whenever possible, or on the far edge of the road facing traffic to stay safe.
W – Wear well-fitting masks, costumes, and shoes to avoid blocked vision, trips, and falls.
E – Eat only factory-wrapped treats. Avoid eating homemade treats made by strangers.
E – Enter homes only if you’re with a trusted adult. Only visit well-lit houses. Never accept rides from strangers.
N – Never walk near lit candles or luminaries. Be sure to wear flame-resistant costumes.
More Halloween health and safety tips can be found on the CDC’s website.