A Real Halloween Nightmare!

 In Paul McMullan, Public Liability
Halloween makeup

Halloween Makeup Almost Blinds Young Woman

It’s the time of year when we are all in a frenzy over the perfect Halloween costume.  Each year trying to make it bigger and better than the year before.  It’s a far cry from the days that costumer were made out of a bin liner!  We have recently posted an article on the safety of children’s costumes and the issues around this but what about us adults?

Most woman will agree that makeup is expensive and there is a reason for this.  It has been tried and tested to make sure it is as safe as possible in order to minimise the adverse effects it might have on consumers.  So why are we happy to apply cheap face paint and makeup to our face when it comes to dressing up?  A number of stories have come out recently about the horrors of allergic reactions to Halloween face paint/makeup and contact lenses.

One such story was a 25 year old woman was almost left blind after an allergic reaction to the Halloween makeup last year.  After applying the glitter makeup around the eyes her eye became irritated, before the end of the night she was in a lot of pain and by the next morning her was unable to open her eyes leaving left temporarily blinded.

After a visit to A&E the doctors confirmed that it was an allergic reaction to the makeup used and the glitter within it had left the eye severely scratched.  The woman is now faced with reduced eyesight and will need corrective lenses for the rest of her life.

Don’t leave buying these products until the last moment.  Give yourself time to carry out a patch test on the skin and think carefully about where you are placing the makeup or fake blood and avoid sensitive areas.  If you are buying a product that is cheap it means it was cheap to make.  When it comes to making a claim against the manufacturers of these product it can be difficult to prove liability.  Nearly all products will recommend a patch test and when it comes to liability the Court will take into account the price of the product.  Right or wrong the courts will consider the argument of ‘you get when you pay for’ when considering action against the manufacturer.

Another example of this is the novelty contact lenses on sale.  Although the affect can be an excellent addition to any costume, consumers need to consider carefully what they are buying.  Often these products are sold illegally on market stall and in joke shops.  When bought at unauthorised shops safety checks are often skipped.  Experts warn that these products can leave customers with reduced vision or even blind.

Tia Goode, from Merthyr, Wales, was left in unbearable pain after ripping off her cornea as she was trying to remove a pair of cat-eye contact lenses in 2015.  These novelty contact lenses aren’t available to youngsters and not available in the UK without a prescription, leaving unauthorised outlets selling these products without a license to do so.  These outlets skip vital safety checks and don’t issue advice on how to use them, meaning they aren’t informed about the dangers of poor eye hygiene.

The best advice to consider is always read the products instructions; consider how much you are paying for the product and where you intend to apply this, would you apply something cheap and untested to your face?; If the product is restricted to be sold by a pharmacist or under license it is for a reason, don’t look for it elsewhere.

If the worse does happen, seek medical advice ASAP and contact Oakwood Solicitors if you wish to investigate any action against the manufacturer or retailer.


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