Family First: Dangers of Halloween contact lenses

Do you know what your kids want to be for Halloween? Have they picked out your costume yet?

And if so, how elaborate is that costume, and do they want to use colored contact lenses with it?

Well, you may want to put a stop to that – for a lot of reasons. Most notably – it can be dangerous to your kids eyes, and not just for trick or treating – there may be long term consequences.

Colored contact lenses, called plano contact lenses –have zero magnification – but not zero risk. According to Dr. Majida Gaffar, a pediatric opthamologist with Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, the lens is a big problem if you don’t know how to use them – especially if you’re getting them from a costume shop, and not an eye doctor. "A lot of these places are dispensing contact lenses, but not teaching the kids how to use them properly. So you’re not cleaning them well, you’re not educated on signs and symptoms of inflammation of the eye , and how long you wear them."

And that can lead to problems. A recent study found that people wearing non-prescribed cosmetic or colored contact lenses had more than a 16 times greater risk of developing problems, that go farther than an eye infection.

"It can be anything from just an inflammation in the eye to a mild infection, or long term consequences," said Gaffar. "If you do get an infection and don’t get the proper care afterwards, this can lead to severe corneal infections, corneal scarring – to the point where you can go blind."

Surgeries – definitely more of a trick than a treat. Dr Gaffar suggests to avoid the risks of injury – don’t buy contacts from retail establishment not affiliated with eye-doctors. And if your children are not used to the routine of putting contacts in , then keep them out.