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How to Choose Eye-Safe Halloween Costumes and Masks

You can have a fun Halloween without endangering your vision by practicing a few safety tips.

Boy and dog dressed in Halloween costume

Are you planning to buy a new Halloween costume for yourself or a child this year? Many Halloween costumes and masks can threaten your vision health. Before you make your selection, evaluate all elements of your costume based on these safety reminders:

Choose a Light-Colored Costume

Many Halloween costumes include dark colors, which can be a safety hazard at night. Light colors will help motorists see you and your children, so encourage kids to select a costume with lighter, brighter colors.

Widen Eye Holes in Masks

Most masks have small eye holes that limit the visual field and affect depth perception. If you or your child wants to wear a mask while trick-or-treating, you can widen the eyeholes with scissors to increase visibility. Be sure to try on the mask first to make sure there are no sharp edges around the eye openings.

Purchase Age-Appropriate Props

Read all warnings and labels on props and adhere to the recommended age guidelines. Inspect props carefully to ensure they are not broken, cracked or damaged. Avoid props that shoot or that have sharp edges, ridges or points.

Be Careful with Face Makeup

Applying makeup can be a safer alternative to wearing a mask, but makeup can cause eye issues as well. Read the ingredients in makeup before purchase and check the ingredients against the cosmetic section in the FDA’s Summary of Color Additives. Each color additive in your makeup should be on the FDA’s approved list of colors. When applying makeup, do not apply it near the eyes and wash it off as soon as you come home.

Avoid Decorative Contact Lenses

Decorative contact lenses can give you cat eyes or zombie eyes, but they can also give your eyes an infection or an abrasion. Non-prescription contacts can scratch your cornea or create a corneal ulcer, a dangerous bacterial infection. The colors and pigments in decorative contact lenses can make them less breathable and restrict oxygen to your cornea.

If you have specific questions about Halloween costumes and eye safety, call your ophthalmologist. If it has been over a year since you have had a comprehensive eye exam, schedule an appointment for yourself and your family. Staying current with eye exams will ensure that your family enjoys clear vision as we enter the holiday season.

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