Fake blood and ghoulish gowns make Halloween a howl, but a few hidden hazards can turn the spooky night downright dangerous.
Stay safe with these tips.
Crazy Contact Lenses
Cat-like contacts may look cool, but the over-the-counter lenses aren't worth the risk, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The one-size-fits-all lenses can cause serious eye disorders and infections that can lead to blindness, according to agency optometrist Bernard Lepri.
"The problem isn't with the decorative contacts themselves," Lepri said in a statement. "It's the way people use them improperly—without a valid prescription, without the involvement of a qualified eye care professional, or without appropriate follow-up care."
Makeup can transform smooth skin into open wounds and scary scars, but it can also leave a rash that lingers long after Halloween night. The FDA suggests testing the makeup on a small patch of skin a couple of days before using it on the face. And check out the agency's list of approved makeup additives. If the makeup contains unapproved ingredients, toss it.
Dark, Dangly Costumes
When choosing a costume, pick something bright or use reflective tape to stay visible after dark. And make sure it fits -- oversize costumes can turn trick-or-treating into trip-and-falling. They're also liable to catch fire near an unmanned Jack-O'-Lantern. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends costumes made from flame-resistant fabrics such as polyester and nylon, just in case.
Whether it's a curb or a car, it's important to see what's coming. Masks can limit peripheral vision, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Consider using makeup instead, and topping things off with a hat or a wig that fits snuggly and won't slide down.
Nothing says Halloween like a Jack-O'-Lantern, but pumpkin carving is no craft for young kids, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Instead, let the little ones use markers to draw designs that adults can cut out. Then go with a glow stick to light it up. If you opt for a candle, be sure to place the pumpkin on a steady table and never leave it unattended.
Halloween loot can be deadly for someone with a peanut allergy. The FDA recommends having the candy inspected by an adult who can remove risky treats and anything that isn't commercially wrapped. Not sure if it contains an allergen? Get rid of it.
After collecting a bagful of treats, the trick is to make it last. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends eating a healthy meal before trick-or-treating to avoid snacking on the go. And then consider rationing sweets for the November days that follow.