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Eye Safety: What you need to know to protect your child’s eyes on Halloween

Submitted by on October 28, 2011 – 6:14 amNo Comment

Why Vanity Contacts and Face Paint Can Pose A Danger to Your Child’s Eyes

Whether you’re a ghoul or a Gaga this Halloween, it is important to keep both eye health and eye safety top of mind when picking out a costume for you and your kids – as some of the hottest costumes can pose serious health risks for our eyes.
I had the chance to speak with Dr. Burton last week on some of the dangers kids’ Halloween costumes can pose to their eyes and what you need to watch out for.

While Lady Gaga may be able to pull off surreal circular pupils, the health effects of using vanity contacts can be extremely damaging to your eye sight, especially when used incorrectly. These contacts along with certain face paints can cause serious damage to your eyes and should not be used without the consultation of an eye doctor.

There were four particular subjects Dr. Burton felt were important to cover:

Dangers of wearing vanity contacts
Dr. Burton says that contacts are medical devices and they should be treated that way. If not used with care, they can lead to damage, even blindness if not handled properly. Did you know that vanity contacts are illegal in the U.S.? They are not FDA approved. If using improperly, vanity contacts can cause permanent eye injury that will require medical intervention and could be costly to your child’s eyes and your pocket book.

Best face paint for your child’s eyes
I know my daughter loves getting her face painted any day of the year but especially on Halloween. Dr. Burton says that if you are going to use face paints at Halloween, to make sure they are water soluble paints only. Do not use oil-based paints, they will not dissolve and could lead to eye damage. When applying the paint, try to stay away from the eye.

Masks that won’t block your vision
When selecting a Halloween mask, please ensure that it closely fits the contours of your child’s face. Dr. Burton says the mask should not be too big because can it can block sight, causing your child to potentially run into something or someone or to fall. Make sure the mask has a large enough eye opening, good fit, good placement. You want the mask to stay in place while child is running from house to house.

Avoiding Eye Injuries While Trick or Treating
I don’t about you but my son always wants to carry a weapon. It could be a sword, dagger, spear, light sabre or scythe. It is usually longer than he is tall and he has a tendency to swing it around, forgetting anyone else exists around him. You can imagine that on a street crowded with kids in costumes, this could pose a real problem. Dr. Burton reminds parents and kids to keep anything away from your own eyes or your friend’s eyes. Sharp edges that could be raised towards the eye should be kept facing down. It is critical that parents reinforce to their child about the potential for eye damage and that on Halloween the parent needs to be watchful and keep a close eye on your own child and others.

Finally, Dr. Burton reminds parents and kids to wear their regular vision correction on Halloween. Don’t forego your glasses or contacts because they don’t go with your costume. We want everyone to have a great time on Halloween and to stay safe. Not wearing your regular vision correction could lead to an accident.

Happy Halloween! Stay safe and have a great time!

Halloween dangers of wearing vanity contactsFor more information on keeping your child’s eyes safe any time, visit

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