PBA provides eye safety tips for Halloween

October 9, 2008

Prevent Blindness America is reminding everyone to make sure all Halloween purchases are safe and responsible. In the past, cosmetic contacts were popular costume accessories, allowing wearers to change eye color or give the illusion of cat?s eyes.

Chicago-Prevent Blindness America (PBA) is reminding everyone to make sure all Halloween purchases are safe and responsible. In the past, cosmetic contacts were popular costume accessories, allowing wearers to change eye color or give the illusion of cat’s eyes.

However, many people may not be informed that purchasing any contact lens, whether it be corrective or not, without a prescription is illegal, according to the PBA. Contact lenses are classified as medical devices and can only be obtained through a licensed eye-care professional. Improper use of contacts can lead to eye infections, corneal injuries, and even vision loss, the PBA said.

"Halloween can be one of the most enjoyable times of the year, as long as we all remember that safety is the key to a wonderful holiday," said Hugh R. Parry, president and chief executive officer of PBA. "Everything from having an open flame in a jack-o-lantern to wearing a mask that distorts our vision can turn a festive evening into a terrible accident."

Here are some tips to protect vision and avoid painful eye injuries:

• Never wear costumes that could block vision such as some masks, wigs, hats, or eye patches.

• Always wear hypoallergenic or non-toxic make-up. Only adults should apply the make-up to children and remove it with cold cream or eye make-up remover instead of soap.

• False eyelashes should only be applied and removed according to the manufacturers’ instructions on product packages.

• Avoid props or accessories that have sharp edges or pointed ends such as pitchforks, spears, knives, swords, or wands.

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