Warning about the dangers of fancy dress and novelty products in the run up to Halloween
Parents across the country will soon be gearing up to buy Halloween costumes for their children, but health and safety campaigners are urging parents to be cautious as some costumes and accessories may not be as safe as they appear.
The Health and Social Care Information Centre has released figures showing that 94 people in England were admitted to hospital last year after their Halloween costume either ignited or melted with 21 one of these incidents involving children under the age of 18.
Trading Standards has been carrying out spot checks to test how flammable costumes are and whether or not they meet safety standards, but burns experts and safety campaigners are questioning whether or not the standards are tough enough in the first place. The current regulations are the same as those used for children’s toys.
Concerns have also been raised about other novelty products bought over the internet, including fake blood and face paints, after a mother suffered chemical burns when she applied fake blood to her face.
Lisa Gunner, a serious injury solicitor based in Thompsons’ Bristol office said: “Halloween should be a fun occasion which brings communities closer together. However, there are some serious safety concerns that need to be borne in mind.
“The safety standards for costumes are the same for toys which is madness when you consider the difference between dropping and getting away from a toy that catches fire compared with trying to get your child out of a piece of clothing that’s alight.
“The safety of children should be a priority for manufacturers and taken more seriously by the government through regulation. A costume meeting the current standards does not always guarantee that they are safe.
“It is vital that the government urgently reviews safety standards to prevent injuries at what should be an enjoyable event.”
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