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Safety warning over Halloween costumes

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By Fiona Reid
Annan and Eskdale
Safety warning over Halloween costumes

PARENTS are being warned to remain vigilant to the fire risks that Halloween costumes can pose to their children - after tests found some outfits on sale in the region are flammable.

As youngsters throughout the area prepare to dress up and go guising this weekend, Dumfries and Galloway Council’s trading standards team is reminding residents that costumes have the potential to burn and cause serious injuries.
Over the last few weeks officials have been involved in a project as part of the West of Scotland Safety Group, to test the quality of costumes being sold in the region.
Five costumes from a variety of national retailers were purchased and tested – and two failed to meet the flammability and other safety standards of the regulations.
Safety advice being given to parents includes ensuring that the costume fits properly to avoid trips and falls and making sure they have the necessary CE mark, which means they comply with the European Toy Safety Directive and should they catch alight the rate of burning is slow.
It is also advised that any masks or hoods don’t stop the child from seeing or breathing as this can cause safety risks.
Councillor Colin Smyth said: “The findings from the test purchasing in the area are worrying. It’s important that we remind people about the dangers some costumes can pose.
“Everyone always looks forward to Halloween and the fun children have when dressing up. We just want to remind parents that, by taking the necessary steps to ensure costumes are of the correct standard and being vigilant around open flames that might be present in pumpkin lanterns, then potential incidents can be avoided.”
He added: “The work of Trading Standards helps to ensure that products on sale in this area meet all the necessary standards, but homemade costumes can also be dangerous. By taking on board the safety advice that is being provided then everyone will be able to enjoy their Halloween without any unfortunate mishaps.”

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