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Beware Costume Contact Lenses this Halloween

Eye experts have warned against cheap contact lenses that could result in a horror story when choosing your costume this Halloween. 

Whether trick or treating or heading to a party this Halloween, health experts have warned against purchasing a cheaper variety of colourful contact lenses rather than special lenses prescribed by professionals.

The Mirror recently reported that one victim, 23-year-old Jess Wilby, bought a pair of emerald green contact lenses for under £20 and suffered “excruciating pain” only a few hours into her night in costume which resulted in a trip to the emergency room.

Ms Wilby said, “I followed the instructions on the packaging and still managed to get seriously hurt.

“They aren't safe in my opinion and it really isn't worth the risk for one night out.”

The Chief Medical Director of Optical Express, Dr Steve Schallhorn, said, “We have had to treat patients who have suffered corneal ulcers, corneal abrasion, vision impairment and even blindness as a result of (these) products.

“It is very common to see such outlets as party shops, market stalls, convenience stores and even beauty salons selling these extremely dangerous products to customers of all ages in the lead-up to Halloween.

“As a result of this prevalence, customers therefore believe them to be perfectly safe, when they are, in reality, anything but.”


Warnings may be taken from this incident by both consumers and businesses. As a business owner, the health and safety of customers is paramount. Just as hazard signs should be used to prevent injuries in your business premises, instructions and user guidelines should also be clear on any product that you sell. At the very least, a warning of all potential risks should be included. This falls under the category of the risk we owe others or, in other words, public liability.

In a previous blog, we addressed the frequently-asked query, what if someone is injured on my business premises? To summarise, public liability insurance is essential when it comes to protecting your customers and your business in the event of an accident that leads to a public liability compensation claim. Then again, if a product you sold was responsible for causing a customer an injury, as in the above case of novelty contact lenses posing a risk of blindness, public liability insurance is simply essential, along with health warnings to ensure that customers know exactly what they are buying – including the risks.

But what can we do as consumers? When it comes to buying a product that may impact your health, a little research and extra caution may spare a trip to the emergency ward. Be it contact lenses or face-paint for your Halloween costume, it is wise to bear in mind allergens and any potential risks to see how your body reacts to the product before wearing for an extended period of time.

If you would like help or advice about an injury you or a member of your family has suffered through no fault of your own call Slater and Gordon Personal Injury Lawyers on freephone 0800 112 4489 or contact us online.

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