If you have children, you are likely familiar with the excitement of Halloween. For a child, it is a stimulating time of year filled with fall festivities, scary movies, costumes, and of course, candy! Nearly as exciting as the prospect of a bag full of candy is the opportunity for kids to create their own costume. Whether it is their favorite super hero, a character from a beloved movie, or a frightening monster- they are always delighted to make their costume just right. As expected, it will likely be up to you to make this costume come to life!
As a parent, there is always disparity between what your child wants and what is affordable, acceptable, and safe. There may not seem like any danger to consider when creating your child’s Halloween costume, however, there are some frightening health concerns that parents should be aware of.
A common sight on Halloween night are adults and children with decorative contact lenses. Whether they want blood-filled vampire eyes, cat eyes, or just a different color, the risk associated with using these decorative lenses is alarming. For starters, contact lenses are classified as medical devices, meaning they are only intended to be sold to someone with a prescription. In fact, the FDA has made it illegal to sell contact lenses to anyone without a prescription. Do not buy decorative or colored contact lenses from a Halloween or novelty store. Because contacts are considered medical devices, they are intended to be fitted and distributed only by eye care professionals. There is no such thing as contact lenses that are “one size fits all.”
Wearing contacts that do not properly fit your eye can lead to numerous problems, including oxygen restriction in the eye. This will cause the eye to swell, as well as increase the chance of scratching the cornea. Damage to the cornea can lead to permanent vision impairment and even blindness. You can find multiple horror stories online about decorative contact lenses gone wrong, such as this one.
In addition to the health risks of wearing contact lenses that are not properly fitted, there is danger in the mishandling, storing, and sharing of contacts, as well as other products such as make-up. If you do not store and handle your contact lenses properly, it can lead to a bacterial infection in the eye, most commonly, pink eye. Never share contact lenses with anyone. Furthermore, we recommend not sharing any makeup, especially eye makeup. This is an easy way to spread infection, especially pink eye. Pink eye is very contagious and can easily spread by sharing these kind of items (make-up brushes, pillows, washcloths, eye drops, etc.).
Halloween is an exciting time for children, but there are health risks (besides all that candy) that should be addressed for safety. Beware of decorative contact lenses, as well as the sharing of any Halloween makeup or products used in or around the eyes, you’ll be glad you did!