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Warning for parents to check safety of children’s fancy dress costumes.

Tuesday 19th October 2021

Jersey Trading Standards are providing reminders to make sure that parents take some simple steps to make sure children are safe when dressing up in fancy dress costumes.
Children enjoy dressing up in costumes during play. Children’s fancy dress costumes have to comply with the European Toy Safety Standard EN71 which covers flammability testing, however they are not required to be fire proofed or fire retardant.

Jersey Trading Standards would therefore urge consumers to remain vigilant and  to take a few simple steps when purchasing fancy dress costumes

  • Look for the CE European Safety Mark when purchasing costumes and associated items.
  • Use well established high street shops and internet sites to ensure that the products come from reputable suppliers.
  • Check the label or packaging for the manufacturers’ name, address and postcode – avoid purchasing items which do not carry the mark.
  • Always follow safety instructions.
  • Flowing items such as fake beards, or capes can become hazardous if they are likely to be worn near naked flames such as candles.
  • Ensure that you use only fire retardant costumes and masks for dressing up.
  • Remember that plastic capes and bin liners which are sometimes used as a costume can pose a fire risk.
  • Only allow children access to toy axes, swords and other costume accessories under strict supervision.
  • Do not give children products that are intended for adult use only.

Every year children and adults around the UK are injured in accidents where lighted candles or fireworks have ignited flammable fur and hair on costumes. Plastic capes are also a risk and even home-made costumes containing crepe paper, bin bags or sheets may be hazardous.

Costumes should have a degree of fire resistance so if they caught light, for example on a candle at a Halloween party, they would burn slowly, allowing the wearer to remove the item before an injury was caused.

Businesses and importers are responsible for safety testing their goods before they go on sale, but unfortunately there are occasions when items slip through the net and appear in shops and on markets and on the internet.

Parents need to realise that these clothes can pose a significant risk. This is not a matter of cost, more expensive costumes are not necessarily safer. Parents should be aware that costumes do not meet the same safety standards as clothes. If their children are going to wear them they need to ensure that there are no naked flames around and that extra care is taken especially if there are candles or naked flames.


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