Many of the Halloween safety tips this year offer warnings we've heard before.
- Treats: Warn children not to eat any treats before an adult has carefully examined them for evidence of tampering.
- Flame resistant costumes: Look for the label Flame Resistant when purchasing a costume, masks, beards, and wigs. Avoid costumes made with flimsy materials and big, baggy sleeves or billowing skirts to minimize the risk of contact with candles or other sources of ignition.
- Costume designs: Purchase or make costumes that are light and bright enough to be clearly visible to motorists. Trim costumes with reflective tape.
- Masks. Apply a natural mask of cosmetics rather than have a child wear a loose-fitting mask that might restrict breathing or obscure vision. Make sure masks fit securely and have eyeholes large enough to allow full vision.
- Pedestrian safety: Always accompany young children and make sure children walk from house to house, using the sidewalk.
- Safe houses: Make sure children only go to homes where the residents are known and have outside lights on as a sign of welcome.
However, here are some suggestions from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that you may not be aware of.
- Face paint: Follow directions carefully. Don't decorate your face with things that aren't intended for your skin. Check to see if there is a warning to not use the paint near the eyes. Dab a paint on your arm for a couple of days to check for an allergic reaction before putting it on your face.
- Color additives: Look for the names of the colors of the face paint. Check the Summary of Color Additives on FDA's Web site. Don't use the color if it isn't on this list. Check to see if the color can be used near the eyes.
- Ghoulish glow paint: Don't use "fluorescent" and "luminescent" paint near the eyes. Fluorescent colors are sometimes called "neon" or "day-glow." Luminescent colors glow in the dark. Check the Summary of Color Additives again.
- Cosmetic removal. Don't go to bed with your makeup on as wearing it too long might irritate your skin, and bits of makeup can flake off or smear and get into your eyes. Remove it the way the label says. Remove makeup gently around the eyes.
- Reactions. Report a bad reaction to face paint or novelty makeup to your nearest FDA district office. See the FDA's Web site for phone numbers, Blue Pages of the phone book under United States Government/Health and Human Services, or FDA's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition Adverse Event Reporting System at 301-436-2405 or CAERS@cfsan.fda.gov.
Decorative contact lenses
- Get a prescription if you want to use decorative contact lenses. Buy the lenses from an eye care professional or from a vendor who requires that you provide prescription information for the lenses. Follow directions for cleaning, disinfecting, and wearing the lenses.
- Report any problems with the lenses to your FDA district office or FDA's MedWatch Program.
I hope this information helps you have a safe Halloween this year.