Seven Halloween Health Hazards


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iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Fake blood and ghoulish gowns make Halloween a howl, but a few hidden hazards can turn the spooky night downright scary.  Stay safe with these tips:

Pumpkin Carving

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.

Crazy Contact Lenses

Cat-like contacts may look cool, but the over-the-counter lenses aren’t worth the risk, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology.  The one-size-fits-all lenses can cause serious eye disorders and infections that can lead to blindness.  Only wear contacts that have been prescribed by an eye care professional.

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.

Vision-Obscuring Masks

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.

Irritating Makeup

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.

Hidden Allergens

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.

Candy Overload

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.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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