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Though ghouls and goblins willbe out in full force, there will be other, unexpected dangers lurking on Halloween, some before kids even leave the house.
Though glowing, oddly-colored eyes might seem like the ultimate spooky touch to kids' costumes, officials with the Kentucky Optometric Association, along with the Food and Drug Administration, warn against using decorative, non-corrective contact lenses that are sold without a prescription from an eye doctor.
"Consumers who purchase lenses without a prescription or without consultation from an eye doctor put themselves at risk of serious bacterial infection, or even significant damage to the eye's ability to function, with the potential for irreversible sight loss," said Lisa Sanford Howard, an optometrist in Middlesboro. Risks involve conjunctivitis (pink eye), swelling, allergic reaction and corneal abrasion due to a poor lens fit.
In considering costumes, parents should make sure their children can see well through masks and walk without tripping on their costume, Kentucky State Police advise. While they're on the street, children should carry a flashlight or have reflective tape on their costumes to make them more visible.
"On Halloween evening, we're placing our children in probably some of the most dangerous traffic situations you could imagine," said KSP Lt. David Jude. "Our children are outside after dark, they walk along and cross unfamiliar streets, and they often wear dark colors, which are difficult for motorists to see."
When children get home with their haul, they should not eat treats until they have been checked by an adult. Parents should discard unwrapped or suspicious candy.
The U.S. Census Bureau estimates 41 million kids between ages 5 and 14 will go trick-or-treating this year.