Photo:Flickr;SeemidTn.com

Halloween is right around the corner and consumers are already getting into the spirit.  In fact, the National Retail Federation estimated that the total Halloween spending for 2010 would reach $5.8 billion.  Approximately four out of 10 people plan on dressing in costume and will spend more than $23 on their ensemble.  Prevent Blindness America wants to remind everyone to make sure their costumes, or their children’s costumes, will be safe.

Prevent Blindness America has created a dedicated website for children’s eye health and safety, starpupils.org.  The site provides parents with free information on how to keep their teens and children’s eyes safe this year, without a scary trip to the emergency room.

Prevent Blindness America offers these tips to adults and children to help keep Halloween a treat:

  1. Never buy cosmetic contact lenses without a prescription, which is both illegal and dangerous. Misuse of lenses can result in bacterial infections, swelling, eye pain, sensitivity to light, conjunctivitis (pink eye), corneal scratches and loss of clarity.
  2. Always wear hypoallergenic make-up. Adults should apply the make-up and remove it with cold cream or eye make-up remover instead of soap. Follow product guidelines about applying product directly around the eyes.
  3. False eyelashes should only be applied and removed according to the manufacturer’s instructions on the products package.
  4. Cosmetics should never be shared, especially eye cosmetics.
  5. Do not dye eyelashes or eyebrows.  No color additives have been approved by the FDA for permanent dyeing or tinting of eyelashes or eyebrows.
  6. Always apply makeup outside the lash line to avoid contact with the eye.
  7. Avoid costumes with masks, wigs, floppy hats or eye patches that block vision.  Tie hats and scarves securely so they won’t slip over children’s eyes.
  8. Avoid costumes that drag on the ground to prevent tripping or falling.  Do not use roller blades or ride a bike, scooter or skateboard while wearing a costume.
  9. Do not use or purchase pointed props such as spears, swords or wands.
  10. Wear bright, reflective clothing or decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape/patches. Carry a bright flashlight to improve visibility.
  11. Always accompany children while trick-or-treating.  Only go to houses you are familiar with.
  12. Carefully examine all trick-or-treat items for signs of tampering before allowing children to eat them.  Inspect any toys or novelty items received by kids age 3 and younger as they may pose a choking hazard.
  13. Jack-o-lanterns should be placed in areas where trick-or-treaters or Halloween party guests won’t be able to trip over them or have costumes brush up against them.  All tripping hazards should be removed from sidewalks and porches.
  14. Make sure costumes are made of flame-retardant material.

“By following a few simple steps, parents can ensure that everyone in the family can have a fun, safe Halloween night to remember,” said Hugh R. Parry, president and CEO of Prevent Blindness America.

For more information on Halloween, cosmetic or contact lens safety, please call Prevent Blindness America at 1-800-331-2020 or visit starpupils.org or facebook.com/StarPupils.

About Prevent Blindness America

Founded in 1908, Prevent Blindness America is the nation’s leading volunteer eye health and safety organization dedicated to fighting blindness and saving sight.  Focused on promoting a continuum of vision care, Prevent Blindness America touches the lives of millions of people each year through public and professional education, advocacy, certified vision screening and training, community and patient service programs and research.  These services are made possible through the generous support of the American public.  Together with a network of affiliates, divisions and chapters, Prevent Blindness America is committed to eliminating preventable blindness in America.  For more information, or to make a contribution to the sight-saving fund, call 1-800-331-2020. Or, visit us on the Web at preventblindness.org or facebook.com/preventblindness.