October 31, 2012

Safety Tips For Halloween

Carved pumpkins line the front porch. Houses are decorated with fake cobwebs and spooky lights. With these bits and pieces, you can tell that Halloween is just around the corner. This holiday should not be just considered fun and games–there are a few safety concerns you should be aware of before the trick-or-treating commences.

In particular, family members should speak with young children and teens prior to the commencement of festivities, regarding topics like costume or decorations. A report in UPI recently stated that an optometrist in the U.S. warned that using tinted contact lenses as a decorative element in costumes could unknowingly lead to eye damage. The contacts, which do not require a prescription to be worn, include various colors and are sold in places like costume shops, beauty stores, and various outlets online.

“Contact lenses should never be worn without a prescription from a licensed optometrist or ophthalmologist,” Peter Russo, who works at the Loyola University Medical Center’s Contact Lens Program as director, wrote in a statement. “In fact, it is against the law to sell decorative contact lenses without a prescription.”

While the Halloween contact lens are available widely, they are sold illegally in a number of locations. Those who buy the contacts may not be correctly fitted for the lens and may not have full instructions on how to wear or care for the contacts. As such, incorrect use can lead to infections or inflammation of the eyes, causing redness and pain along the way.

“Even when worn for a relatively short period of time, such as during a Halloween party, decorative contact lenses can damage eyes if not used properly,” Russo told UPI.

As well, Safety Kids USA described Halloween as one of the “most anticipated nights of the year,” but also one with “scary statistics.” They found that over double the number of child pedestrians are killed while walking around on Halloween as compared to any other day in the calendar year. As well, only 18 percent of parents talk to their children about Halloween costumes.

As a result, a number of government agencies have released safety recommendations for families. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, there are issues that can arise for people who are at home and who are out and about. The USFA recommends that people who decorate their homes limit the use of candles. As such, it is best to use flameless candles or battery-operated candles as both reduce the incidence of fires.

Popular in ancient Egypt, these preserved remains of pharaohs and people of wealth tend to walk in a slow, shambling step, moaning like they’d had more than their fill of election “news” on Facebook.

On the other hand, the organization recommends that parents should accompany children when they are out and about. In particular, trick-or-treaters should be aware of crossing streets at corners and traffic signals as well as using crosswalks whenever possible. When crossing the street, it is best to use traffic signals so that drivers can be more aware of pedestrians. When it gets dark at night, it is also helpful to have a flashlight or a glow stick.

Pedestrians aren’t the only ones who should be held responsible. On Halloween night, it is best if drivers slow down and be more aware of children who may be trick-or-treating in residential neighborhoods.

With these various tricks and tips, Halloween will be a safe and fun time for all.

Image Credit: Dayna More / Shutterstock

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