Here are 13 lucky tips from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Centers for Disease Control.
Today's decorative lenses make the wearer's eyes appear to glow in the dark, create the illusion of vertical "cat eyes," or change the wearer's eye color.
Despite the fact that it's illegal to sell decorative contact lenses without a valid prescription, the FDA says the lenses are sold on the Internet and in retail shops and salons — particularly around Halloween.
But you may be risking your eyesight if you wear them. Last year, the FDA received reports of corneal ulcer associated with wear of decorative contact lenses in excess of the recommended period. Corneal ulcer can progress rapidly, leading to internal ocular infection if left untreated — and possible blindness.
Wearers of decorative contact lenses are also at risk for conjunctivitis, corneal edema (swelling); allergic reaction; corneal abrasion from poor lens fit; and reduction in visual acuity, contrast sensitivity, and other visual functions.
•Wear costumes made of fire-retardant materials. Look for "flame resistant" on the label. If you make your costume, use flame-resistant fabrics such as polyester or nylon. Several years ago, a discount store had to recall 120,000 vinyl capes sold for Halloween because they could catch fire and melt.
When buying costumes, wigs, beards or masks, look for the "flame resistant" label, the Consumer Product Safety Commission says. Although this label does not mean these items won't catch fire, it does indicate the items will resist burning and should extinguish quickly once removed from the ignition source.
To minimize the risk of contact with candles or other sources of ignition, avoid costumes made with flimsy materials and outfits with big, baggy sleeves or billowing skirts.
•Remove obstacles -- and candlelit jack-o-lanterns-- from porches and doorsteps. People expecting trick-or-treaters should remove anything that could be an obstacle from lawns, steps and porches, so children wearing masks will not fall. Candlelit jack-o'-lanterns should be kept away from landings and doorsteps where costumes could brush against the flame. Indoor jack-o'-lanterns should be kept away from curtains, decorations and other furnishings that could be ignited.
•Wear bright, reflective costumes or add strips of reflective tape so you'll be more visible. Make sure the costumes aren't so long that you're in danger of tripping.
•Wear makeup and hats rather than masks. Masks can obscure your vision, leading to trips and falls. If a child is wearing a hat or scarf, tie it securely so it doesn't slip over his or her eyes.
•Test the makeup you plan to use. Put a small amount of makeup on your arm a couple of days before Halloween or your costume party. If you get a rash, redness, swelling, or other signs of irritation where you applied it, that's a sign you may be allergic to it.
Last year, there was a mass recall of children's face paint because of "rashes, itchiness, burning sensation and swelling where the face paints were applied." The reason? The face paint contained bacteria.
Most Halloween makeup has ingredients to prevent bacteria growth for a longer shelf life. Look for methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, isopropylparaben, butylparaben and isobutylparaben or BHT (butylated hydroxtoluene). But check out the expiration date too — and throw the makeup out if it has expired.
•Check the FDA's list of color additives. If you're using Halloween makeup, check the FDA's list to see if the additives in your makeup are FDA approved. If they aren't approved for their intended use, don't use it. (The list can be found at http://www.fda.gov/ForIndustry/ColorAdditives/ColorAdditiveInventories/ucm115641.htm)
•Don't eat candy until it has been inspected at home. Trick-or-treaters should eat a snack before heading out, so they won't be tempted to nibble on treats that haven't been inspected.
•Don't accept – or eat – any treat that isn't commercially wrapped.
•Remove choking hazards from kids' treats. Parents of very young children should be on the lookout for choking hazards such as gum, peanuts, hard candies or small toys.
•Inspect commercially wrapped treats for signs of tampering. If a product wrapper has tiny pinholes or tears in the wrapper, throw it out. If the wrapper or product looks unusual or discolored, throw it away.
•Avoid juice that hasn't been pasteurized or otherwise processed. When in doubt, ask the host if a juice product is pasteurized or not. Normally, the juice found in your grocer's frozen food case, refrigerated section or on the shelf in boxes, bottles or cans is pasteurized.
•Before bobbing for apples — a favorite Halloween game — reduce the amount of bacteria that might be on apples by thoroughly rinsing them under cool running water. As an added precaution, use a produce brush to remove surface dirt.