FDA's non-coronavirus-related Halloween tips include warnings about face paint, color contacts

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In addition to the coronavirus safety measures that officials are urging residents to adhere to this Halloween, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) posted a list of do's and don'ts to prevent your holiday from becoming a spooky health disaster.

For starters, the health agency advises choosing a costume that’s labeled “flame resistant,” or using flame-resistant materials should you go the DIY-route. Adding bright, reflective material such as tape will also make you more visible, while keeping the length short will help to avoid tripping.

The FDA also advises wearing a hat or makeup rather than a full character mask, but warns against using makeup you haven’t previously tested on your skin.

“Put a small amount on the arm of the person who will be wearing it,” the FDA advises. “If a rask, redness, swelling or other signs of irritation develop where the makeup was applied, that’s a sign of a possible allergy.”  

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It also encourages checking the FDA list of approved color additives to ensure the makeup doesn’t include anything suspicious.

“Don’t wear decorative (colored) contact lenses unless you have seen an eye care professional for a proper fitting and been given instructions for how to use the lenses,” the agency states, adding that they have not been approved for safety and effectiveness.

“If you have never worn contact lenses before, Halloween should not be the first time you wear them,” the agency warns. “Experts warn that buying any kind of contact lenses – which are medical devices and regulated as such – without an examination and a prescription from an eye care professional can cause serious eye disorders and infections, which may lead to permanent vision loss.”

The FDA also warned that selling such decorative lenses without a prescription is illegal.

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And if you do end up with Halloween candy this year, don’t eat it until it’s been inspected and you’ve checked the label to make sure it isn’t made with something you may be allergic to.

For more tips, including some addressed to party hosts, click here.

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