Halloween is a favorite holiday for children. After all, what other day of the year can you dress up in a costume, knock on a stranger’s door and fully expect to be greeted with a smile and a handful of candy? However, from an adult’s perspective, Halloween can pose several threats to eye safety.
Here are four eye safety concerns with corresponding solutions to protect your children’s vision:
Wearing LED Shirt Lights on Halloween Costumes
Reducing the risk of eye injury on Halloween begins with wearing a light-colored costume. Use reflective fabric strips or reflective tape on the front, back and sides of the costume, and even on shoes. If your child wants to wear a dark-colored costume, accessorize with lots of glow sticks and glow necklaces. You can also purchase an LED shirt light (worn by cyclists and runners) and clip it to your child’s costume.
Walk Neighborhood Streets in Groups After Dark
Kids love the freedom of running around in the dark on Halloween night, but they are taking unnecessary safety risks. According to Safe Kids Worldwide, twice as many child fatalities occur on Halloween than on any other night of the year. Encourage your children to walk around in groups, carry flashlights and use sidewalks and crosswalks. The safest way to allow your children to enjoy Halloween is to accompany them through the neighborhood, even if you follow at a distance.
Forego the Halloween Masks
Masks often limit visual field and obscure peripheral vision. A narrowed field of vision can increase risk of falls and eye injuries, so encourage younger children to trick-or-treat without a mask. If you have older children and decide to let them wear a mask, cut the eye holes wider.
Avoid Using Sharp Objects as Props
Swords, staffs and daggers can add extra pizzazz to any costume, but props can cause eye injury if your child decides to role play. Pointed objects can damage your child’s vision or the vision of another child, so avoid purchasing props. Most kids find props cumbersome during trick-or-treating anyhow, so you are doing them a favor by not buying those sabers and wands.
Each Halloween, there are hundreds of eye injuries that require visits to the emergency room because appropriate precautions were not taken. Make this the best, safest Halloween for your kids by having conversations about eye safety and trick-or-treating.
Call an Ophthalmologist
If you have specific questions about the safety of Halloween eye makeup or masks, click here for a list of ophthalmologists in your area. You can also make an appointment for comprehensive eye exams for the whole family. For optimum vision health, schedule yearly eye check-ups for adults and children.