Halloween Eye Safety: Prevent Toil and Trouble in Costume

Posted by: Missouri Eye Institute in Blog on October 18, 2021

Cute little kids in halloween costumes

We all love a good scare on Halloween night, but most of us want no part of real-life blood and gore when what we’re really after is a great time (and maybe a little bit of candy).

Make sure you and your little ghouls and goblins stay safe and injury-free on Halloween by following a few simple eye-safety rules. With the right tricks in your repertoire, you won’t be “treated” to a visit to the ER.

  1. Avoid costume contacts. It’s frightfully easy to get creepy special effects contact lenses from shady online sources. But beware: Those fantasy lenses could land you in a world of hurt. 

Nonprescription novelty contacts are not likely fitted, inspected or recommended by an ophthalmologist. Because they are mass produced in a single size, they can squeeze the eye or slide around, causing injury. They may even come out of a manufacturing environment rife with contaminants that could cause infection. Instead, amp up the fright factor—and still stay visible in dim light—with dramatic face makeup …

  1. … But be careful around your eyes. Most Halloween shops are well stocked with makeup that is nontoxic, but you’ll still want to exercise caution when you apply it. That means using clean makeup applicators for better control and stopping short of the lash line to avoid getting irritating makeup in your eye. Once you’re done and the party’s over, toss that makeup and buy a fresh batch next year.
  2. Hands off the face. Any time you rub your eyes, you could cause microscopic damage to the cornea that can leave eyes irritated, red and blurry. However, rubbing risks increase once makeup enters the equation. Gooey makeup can introduce allergens and irritants into the eye when you rub.
  3. Use proper props. Who doesn’t love playing it to the hilt as the bad guy, complete with a pirate’s sword, chainsaw or deadly hatchet? Make your instruments of destruction more eye-friendly by purchasing realistic-looking plastic replicas or crafting your own out of foam or cardboard. Keep even your prop weapons at your side and avoid theatrics: Even soft sabers can cause painful eye injuries if you’re careless.
  4. Light the way. Masks and coverings are delightfully frightening—but make sure they’re not blinding you in the dark! Keep a flashlight with fresh batteries with you (a cell phone light also works well), for any time when you need to navigate a dimly lit walk or space. The illumination will reduce eye strain as well as your risk of trips and falls that could result in injury.

Above all, enjoy an evening of revelry (and candy corn) in the spirit of fun—and make spooky memories to last a lifetime!

Missouri Eye Institute has helped thousands of patients achieve freedom from glasses and contact lenses. Contact us at (800) 383-3831 to schedule a thorough eye exam or visit MissouriEye.com to learn more about our services.


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