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5 Sneaky Halloween Health Hazards

Whether you’ll be tip-toeing through a haunted house, competing in a costume contest or baking an array of tasty treats, some of our favorite festivities are likely to take place this weekend, since Halloween falls on a Wednesday this year.

You’ve probably heard the same trusty Halloween safety tips since the first time you went trick-or-treating: Don’t go out alone, take a flashlight, don’t eat unwrapped candy, careful with that broomstick around the Jack-O-Lanterns. And in your adult years, you’ve probably learned (and maybe the hard way) not to overdo it on the peanut butter cups.

But there are a few other, less obvious risks of this haunting holiday. Click through the slideshow below to find out how to avoid these sneaky Halloween health hazards.

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  • Face Paint

    Sure, that zombie costume wouldn’t be the same without it, but face paint can cause allergic reactions and irritation. The FDA recommends a href=””testing a small amount on a patch of skin/a somewhere less obvious, like your arm or stomach, a few days before going all out.
    Compare ingredients in your makeup of choice with the FDA’s a href=””list of approved color additives/a to be extra cautious, and don’t forget to wash it all off before you go to bed.

  • Decorative Contacts

    In 2011, with Halloween approaching, Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” music video sparked a wide-eyed cosmetic contact lens trend that worried some experts. Since most decorative or colored contacts are purchased without a prescription, the lenses aren’t tailored to fit the individual eye. This can result in tears and infections, according to CBS News, or a href=””even blindness/a, according to
    “a href=””It’s more than a piece of costume jewelry. This is a medical device./a One size does not fit all,” Dr. Thomas Steinemann, an ophthalmologist with MetroHealth Medical Center and the American Academy of Opthalmology told CBS News.
    A small 2012 study that aimed to evaluate why cosmetic lenses might lead to infection found that some users were even a href=”″sharing their lenses with friends or family members/a.

  • Black Licorice

    Also around Halloween 2011, the FDA warned against overdoing it on one treat in particular: black licorice. A compound in the candy, derived from the licorice root, can cause potassium levels to fall, which could lead to a href=””abnormal heart rhythms or even heart failure/a in some adults.
    Adults over 40 are at greatest risk, and you’d have to eat quite a bit of the sweet stuff (two ounces of licorice a day for at least two weeks!) to do real damage, but it’s worth cutting back if black licorice is your sweet treat of choice.

  • Bobbing For Apples

    Maybe you’ve never played, or maybe it’s a staple at your Halloween festivities, but bobbing for apples isn’t all fun and games. In fact, it’s more like an a href=””open invitation to germs/a, in the middle of cold season, no less.
    Concern over apple bobbers spreading the sniffles led at least one UK fall fête to a href=””ban the bob all together/a, according to the Daily Mail, and instead asked children to try to fish apples out of water using chopsticks.

  • Drinking Too Much

    Throwing back a few too many is a health risk you’re likely to encounter at a number of this season’s celebrations (lookin’ at you, New Year’s Eve). The Dietary Guidelines for Americans define a href=””moderate alcohol consumption/a as up to one drink per day for women and up to two a day for men — and no, you can’t save them up all week to splurge on Halloween weekend.
    Doing so can leave you with bigger problems than a hangover, although a href=””at least 75 percent of you can attest/a that that’s not so pleasant in and of itself.
    a href=””Overdoing it on the booze/a can lead to high blood pressure, liver damage, memory problems and more, according to the CDC.

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