Halloween, is usually scary-good fun for people of all ages, bringing our favourites scary characters to life with Halloween costumes, makeup and accessories. However, the wrong approach to fun can lead to scary results — particularly for the safety of our eyes.
Here are some essential tips to make sure your eyes remain safe and sound during this spooky season.
Halloween Costume Accessories
Accessories like wands, swords, or other props can be a fantastic addition to your costume. However, you must choose and use these accessories carefully to avoid accidents.
A witch’s wand or pirate’s sword can complete the look. But these sometimes long and pointy extras can present an eye hazard, either in crowded party spaces or in dark, hard-to-see areas. Choose accessories that are short and flexible, preferably made of a soft material like foam.
For all the fun masks can bring to Halloween, they can be a safety hazard when not worn properly. Before heading out to trick or treat, make sure hoods and masks do not block vision in either eye — particularly if they will be worn at night or in dim lighting. Even properly aligned masks can restrict peripheral vision and present a hazard for tripping on curbs or stairs.
When one eye is covered, loss of depth perception can increase risk of injury, so it is safer to only wear costume eyepatches when taking pictures or standing still.
Safe Makeup Application
Makeup can be a fantastic way to enhance your costume, but you need to take care when applying it near your eyes. Follow our precautions when applying makeup near the eyes:
- Sharing makeup can increase the risk of eye infections. Always use your own products to reduce this risk.
- For eyelash extensions, it’s important to test for lash glue allergies and practice proper hygiene during application.
- Carefully select the makeup you use, and be aware that metallic pigments and colour additives might cause irritation to your skin or eyes.
- Avoid applying products inside the eyelash line, which can increase irritation and dryness of the eye surface.
- Avoid using glitter. The plastic particles and dyes in cosmetic glitter are nontoxic, yet they are at risk of migrating onto the eye surface if applied near the eyelids.
- Practice good hygiene by taking off all makeup before bed and avoid using old, expired makeup.
Beware of Coloured Contact Lenses
One of the popular trends for Halloween is wearing cosmetic or coloured contact lenses to complete your look. They are also referred to as coloured contact lenses or novelty contact lenses and can be bought from fashion retail outlets, market stalls, fancy-dress shops and unregistered online sellers.
While these lenses can enhance your costume, it’s best to follow our advice when using them:
- Get your lenses fitted by a professional, not the Internet. If they are not fitted and cared for properly, contact lenses carry a risk of eye infections. It’s not worth putting your eyes at risk, so get the best advice and make sure your contact lenses are fitted by an eye care professional, like us.
- Like swapping gruesome germs? We didn’t think so. Never share or swap coloured contact lenses with anyone else. By doing so, you raise the chances of getting an eye infection, putting your eye health and your sight at risk.
- Don’t keep lenses in all night, or you’ll wake up with a fright! Unless specifically designed for extended use, contact lenses should not be worn overnight. Not only can extended use increase the risk of eye infections, but it can also starve your eyes of oxygen and cause the lens to bind itself to the front of your eye.
- When putting in coloured contact lenses, make sure you wash your hands thoroughly with soap, rinse well with water and dry your hands in a clean towel. If your costume involves a full face of makeup, apply it after putting in your contact lenses.
- Never reuse disposable coloured contact lenses and throw them in the bin once you have finished with them.
Protect Your Eyes From Fireworks And Bonfires
Eye safety around fireworks and bonfires is important during Halloween celebrations. The explosive nature of fireworks and the intense heat of bonfires pose serious risks to our eyes.
It’s crucial to maintain a safe distance from fireworks, ensuring they are ignited by professionals rather than amateurs. Wearing protective eyewear, such as safety glasses, can provide an extra layer of defence.
Sparklers are a popular part of Halloween parties. Here are some safety tips for using sparklers:
- Supervise Children: Always supervise children when they are using sparklers. Sparklers can reach high temperatures and can cause burns if not handled properly.
- Light One at a Time: Only light one sparkler at a time. Do not bundle them together or relight a sparkler that has gone out.
- Hold at Arm’s Length: Hold the sparkler at arm’s length, away from your face, body, and clothing to prevent burns or sparks going into your eyes
- Never Point: Avoid pointing sparklers at anyone, and never throw them. Keep them in a downward position.
- Be Cautious with Wind: Wind can blow hot embers and sparks towards you or others. Be cautious and consider the wind direction.
Additionally, when attending bonfire events, be cautious of flying sparks and embers and keep a safe distance to shield your eyes from potential harm. By taking these precautions, you can enjoy the beauty of fireworks and the warmth of a bonfire while keeping your eyes safe and unharmed.
With these safety tips in mind, you can enjoy a spooktacular Halloween to the fullest while protecting your precious eyes. Remember, safety should never take a backseat, even during the spookiest time of the year. If things go wrong you can book into our Emergency Eye Clinic during working hours or if it is an emergency, head straight to your local accident and emergency (A&E) hospital. Wishing you a fun and safe Halloween season!