Don't Buy Halloween Colored Contact Lenses
We know your Michael Jackson "Thriller" costume won't be complete without yellow werewolf contacts, but we'd say it's better to forgo 100 percent accuracy than risk going blind.
Just in time for Halloween, U.S. officials have warned the public about the dangers associated with counterfeit decorative and colored contact lenses that become popular around All Hallow's Eve.
UPI reports that the FDA and two other agencies are working to seize counterfeit contact lenses sold at Halloween shops, novelty stores and beauty salons, warning that many sell illegal lenses that could lead to scratches and infections of the cornea, pink eye, decreased vision and even blindness.
"Even though Halloween approaches, consumers shouldn't let a good deal or great costume blind them to the dangers of counterfeit decorative contact lenses," James Dinkins, executive associate director of the Homeland Security Investigations, said in a statement. "What's truly scary is the damage these counterfeit lenses can do to your eyes for a lifetime."
To make it perfectly clear that we shouldn't put random objects in our eyes, Dinkins added that these vendors are not authorized distributors of contact lenses, which by law require a prescription.
But if you must buy colored lenses, first get an eye exam from an ophthalmologist or optometrist, who should write a prescription that includes a brand name, lens measurements and an expiration date. If you don't get decorative lenses from your eye doctor, only buy lenses only from authorized vendors that sell FDA-cleared or approved lenses.
There's already plenty of stuff online for parents to read to keep their trick-or-treaters safe, but here some important safety tips for you adults to keep in mind, too.
- Assign a DD. Impaired drivers are involved in nearly 60 percent of all Halloween highway fatalities nationwide, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study says children 14 and under are four times more likely to be hit by a car on Oct. 31 than on any other night of the year. With those worrying stats in mind, it’s best for you, and others on the road, to designate a non-drinking driver to ensure you get around safely.
- Fire hazards. If you are hosting a party, be wary that candles, jack-o-lanterns, lighters and matches are all potential hazards for Dracula's cape or mummy's wrapping. Instead of lighting candles, consider using a small flashlight or battery-powered lights to light your jack-o-lantern.
- Have a functional costume. Halloween parties tend to get rowdy, so ladies might want to ditch the 6-inch stilettos so you don't trip and fall. Also, please bring a cell phone even if your sexy bumble bee costume doesn't have pockets.
- Since we're on the subject of parties, please, please watch your drink. On Halloween, some people tend to act stupidly. Don't be a statistic.
- Homeowners should be mindful of others. Turn on outdoor lights, replace burned out bulbs, sweep slippery wet leaves off the pavement, and remove items on your yard or front door that a child might trip on.
- Staying home for the trick-or-treaters? Be advised that some kids have food allergies. You might be a Halloween Grinch but it's better safe than sorry. Consider giving non-edible treats such as stickers, erasers or other small novelty items.