Early fall marks the unofficial beginning of several social-media- and pop-culture-propelled seasons. Or “szn,” if you need to save your character count or just want a fun hashtag.
Nothing kicks off the season of seasons quite like pumpkin spice season. Next up is hoodie season, aka cozy season if there’s a hint of sweater weather in the air. And we can’t forget the commencement of flu season and the baseball postseason.
But our favorite season during the season of seasons is… spooky season!
The decorations, the costumes, the parties, the centuries-old traditions culminating in one gloriously hedonistic celebration to send us headlong into the well-mannered holiday season. What’s not to love about Halloween?
Well, now that we mention it, there is one thing that terrifies us during the spooky season…
Most Halloween activities are all in good fun, but even common traditions can lead to horrific eye injuries. On the bright side, they can almost always be avoided with a little bit of planning and awareness.
So grab your Halloween bags and open ‘em wide, because we’re about to fill them full of king-sized safety tips & treats.
Don’t Give Yourself the Evil Eye
If your baby blues are the only thing keeping that zombie costume from giving off a true Walking Dead vibe, you might consider some novelty contact lenses to complete the character. But here’s some advice before you go shopping around Amazon or your nearest costume superstore for zombie contacts: Be afraid. Be very afraid!
Many seasonal supply stores and websites sell novelty contacts that are not FDA-approved. These non-prescription lenses can contain harmful chemicals and materials that lead to allergic reactions, bacterial infections, conjunctivitis, corneal scratches, and dry eyes, and even vision loss.
While a bloodshot eyeball might enhance the realism of your outfit, no costume contest trophy is worth even temporarily damaging your vision. So if you just have to complete the look from head to toe, make sure your costume contact lenses come from an eye care professional or an outlet approved by one.
Once you’ve finally found the eyes you’ve been looking for, just follow standard contact lens handling protocol and you should be in for a fab-boo-lous time!
- Don’t share or borrow contact lenses.
- Don’t sleep in the contacts unless they’re approved for doing so.
- Replace the contacts when recommended.
- Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water and dry them with a lint-free towel before touching your contact lenses.
- Use a “rub and rinse” cleaning method no matter what type of lens cleaning solution you buy. Rub your contact lenses with clean fingers, then rinse the lenses with solution before soaking them. Use this method even if the solution you are using is a “no-rub” type.
- Never put contacts in your mouth to wet them. Saliva (spit) is not a sterile solution.
- Do not rinse or store contacts in water (tap or sterile water).
- Never use a homemade saline solution.
- Do not use saline solution or rewetting drops to disinfect your lenses. They are not disinfectants.
- Use new solution each time you clean and disinfect your contact lenses. Never reuse or top off old solution.
- Do not pour contact lens solution into a different bottle. The solution will no longer be sterile.
- Make sure the tip of the solution bottle does not touch any surface. Keep the bottle tightly closed when you are not using it.
- Keep your contact lens case clean. Rinse it with sterile contact lens solution (not tap water) then leave the empty case open to air dry.
- Replace the case at least every 3 months, or right away if it gets cracked or damaged.
Face Our Fears
Masks and makeup are part of almost every Halloween motif. But those one-size-fits-nobody disguises and cheap makeup packs from the Halloween megastore can cause a scary amount of damage to your eyes if you’re not careful.
If you’re wearing masks and/or headwear, it’s important that they fit properly and do not obstruct your vision. Always check the edges of any accessory covering the head or face to make sure there aren’t any jagged or sharp edges that could poke or scratch your eyes.
When it comes to makeup, goops, and face sprays, you should only use products that are hypoallergenic and FDA-approved. Follow these application guidelines to make sure the only scary side effects of your monster makeup are people’s reactions.
- Test your makeup on a small patch of skin before applying it all over.
- Don’t apply it too close to your eyes or on your eyelids unless it is intended for that use.
- Bring a makeup cloth or towel with you in case your makeup gets in your eyes or starts to run.
- Don’t share makeup or brushes that have already been used.
- Remove your face(paint) before going to bed.
Steer Clear of Swords & Sabres
If there’s one thing that wizard, fairy, and superhero costumes have in common, it’s their use of pointy props. While these wands, broomsticks, and swords may not contain magical powers, they are fully capable of poking out an eye if you aren’t careful.
Whether that lightsaber belongs to you or your kiddo, here are some common-sense tips that’ll help ensure your props aren’t used with evil intentions:
- Never run with a sharp or pointed object.
- Before wielding your sword, casting a spell, or hopping on your broom, make sure no one is close enough to get hit or poked by your prop.
- Always be on the lookout for others who may not be looking out for you.
The Dark Is Full of Dangers
Ghosts and goblins aren’t the only things that go bump in the night. More often than not, those thuds, bangs, and Oooohhhhs are just trick-or-treaters and fellow revelers tripping over decorative tombstones or running into each other’s ninja swords.
Unfortunately, eye injuries are more common on Halloween than actual ghost sightings. Carrying a flashlight and wearing reflective materials might take away from the eeriness of the holiday, but it’s your best line of defense from inadvertent eye gouges.
Jeeper Creepers, Take Care of Your Peepers
Halloween-related eye injuries can be scarier than an all-night horror movie marathon. But the good news is, with just a little bit of carefulness and awareness, the only eyes you need to worry about this spooky season are the ones RIGHT BEHIND YOU!