Choosing Your Halloween Costume Wisely

Halloween is a fun time of the year for both young and old. The choices are endless when it comes to costumes. But with all the possibility, comes risk. Dangers lurk in the form of flammable costumes, decorative contact lenses and even face paint. Here are some tips to keep the boogyman away from your Halloween fun this year.

Costume Selection

While the costumes worn today are much better than those from years ago, there are still dangers to avoid. Be sure to select a costume that is flame retardant and does not drag on the ground. Think about it, kids will be walking past lit pumpkins all night long. They will also be running up and down the neighborhood streets in search of loot. Keep them from tripping on their costume by ensuring it is the proper length or adjusting the length by hemming it. It is a good idea for parents to adhere reflective tape to the costume to help make it easier to spot kids in the darkness. Pedestrians are four times more likely to be injured in an auto collision on Halloween than any other time of the year.

While shopping, avoid costumes that use a mask. While it is fun for the kids to wear and scare, they restrict breathing and obstruct their view. If a mask must be used, enlarge the eye holes. Be sure that any props used such as brooms, swords and wands are smooth and flexible.

Face Paint and Makeup

Prior to the big day, test any face paint or makeup that is intended to be worn for the possibility of an allergy. Put a small amount on the forearm of the person who will be wearing it to see if a reaction occurs such as a rash, redness or swelling at the application site. By doing this in advance of Halloween, you can ensure disappointment does not occur as there will still be time to choose an alternate disguise. You can check the FDA’s website for a list of approved color additives for makeup. If they additives listed in the makeup you are considering are not approved, avoid them.

Decorative Contact Lenses

Michael Jackson made scary contact lenses look cool in the 80’s. Many of today’s Halloween-goers want to enhance their look by donning a pair. It is important to only purchase lenses from a qualified Ophthalmologist or Optometrist. Contact lenses are considered medical devices, even if they are only worn for a few hours. Lenses purchased at Halloween costume shops and other retailers are often made of poor quality material in one size fits all. The risk of poorly fitted and low quality lenses are infections, corneal abrasions, scars and even blindness.