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Eye on Safety Makes Halloween Less Scary

Easy steps can keep vision, other injuries at bay, experts say

SUNDAY, Oct. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Some simple safety measures can help ensure that Halloween is a treat for both children and adults, according to experts at Prevent Blindness America, a nonprofit organization based in Chicago.

"We can keep Halloween safe for everyone by taking a few easy precautions," Daniel D. Garrett, the group's senior vice president, said in a prepared statement. "Our vision can be compromised by costume accessories, make-up, or simply by being out at night without proper lighting."

Prevent Blindness America offers the following tips:

  • Never wear costumes or accessories such as masks, wigs, hats or eye patches that block vision.
  • Use only hypoallergenic or non-toxic makeup. Adults should apply it to children and remove it with cold cream or eye makeup remover instead of soap.
  • False eyelashes and costume make up can also irritate eyes. Follow directions on how to apply and remove them safely.
  • Make sure that shoes fit well and that costumes are short enough to prevent tripping and falling.
  • Select costumes made of flame-retardant material and do not use any props or accessories that have sharp or pointed edges, such as pitchforks, knives, swords, spears or wands.
  • Remove tripping hazards (such as hoses and potted plants ) from your porch and walkway. Place jack-o-lanterns well out of the way of trick-or-treaters.
  • Trick-or-treaters should wear bright, reflective clothing or reflective tape/patches should be added to their costumes. They should carry a bright flashlight to improve visibility.
  • Adults should accompany children. Only go to homes you know and that have the porch light on.
  • Check all trick-or-treat items for signs of tampering before you allow your children to eat them. Toys or novelty items should be inspected to determine whether they pose a choking hazard to young children.

More information

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has more Halloween safety tips.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: Prevent Blindness America, news release, October 2007

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