Halloween is almost here! This is one of the most fun days of the year for many people, but it’s important for children and adults alike to remember to stay safe and healthy. Following the tips below will make sure your family is as safe as possible.

Be seen

Children won’t be the only ones out on Halloween night. Plenty of adults will be driving, so good visibility is key. CEENTA Optical Department Manager Jay Russell says children should wear reflective tape on their costumes. This will make them easier to see, especially if they are wearing dark costumes. They should also walk on the sidewalk and never step out from around parked cars, he said.

Parents should also make sure their children can see as clearly as possible. They should not wear masks that restrict their vision, Mr. Russell said, and they should use flashlights, too.

Protect your eyes

Wearing costume contact lenses can be dangerous for your eyes. Fitting contacts requires an eye exam by an ophthalmologist or optometrist, CEENTA Certified Contact Lens Technician Lois Mucci, NCLE, said. Costume ones can be too loose or tight if not fitted properly. The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) also says costume or painted contacts are thicker and less permeable, which makes it harder for oxygen to get through the lens to the eye.

If a contact lens doesn’t fit it may cause injuries like corneal cuts and scrapes, Ms. Mucci said. People can also have allergic reactions to the plastics they are made from. Costume contacts can also increase the risk for developing keratitis – a painful bacterial infection that causes an ulcer on the eye – by more than 16 times compared to regular, corrective ones, the AAO states. Sixty percent of patients who develop keratitis from wearing non -prescription costume contact lenses suffer permanent vision loss.

You should only buy costume contacts from retailers who require a prescription for purchase and who only sell FDA-approved contact lenses, Ms. Mucci said.

Watch out for allergies

Candy can be a danger to children with allergies, but it’s easy to keep them safe. Parents should inspect all their children’s candy by unwrapping it and reading the food labels before their children eat it, CEENTA Allergy Clinical Coordinator Clarisa Thomas, RN, BSN, said. If parents are unsure if their children may be allergic to a candy, it is always best to give it away or discard it. All homemade treats should be thrown away.

There are no guarantees that a candy won’t trigger an allergy, Ms. Thomas said. Sometimes people might not be aware of a food allergy or sensitivity. If parents suspect their child is allergic, it is best not let them eat the candy and have them tested for allergies as soon as possible.

There is also a chance that a candy without allergens might have been produced in a factory with candy that was, Ms. Thomas said. It is always best for parents to carry their children’s Epipens wherever they go, even trick-or-treating.

If parents know their children have allergies and don’t want to take any risks, they should look for houses with teal pumpkins in front of them. These are houses that offer non-food treats, such as small toys, as an alternative to candy so children with allergies are still able to have fun.

The only scares from Halloween should come from ghosts and goblins, so following these simple tips can make Halloween a safe and enjoyable holiday for everyone.

This blog is for informational purposes only. For specific medical questions, please consult your physician.

 


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