With Halloween just around the corner, it’s time to consider fancy dress costumes for you and your children.
Last Halloween Claudia Winkleman’s daughter was involved in a horrific accident when her witch outfit caught alight. Since then there have been calls for stricter regulations and for costumes to be tested like clothes rather than toys.
Despite the campaign, the Daily Mail found that high street retailers and supermarkets are still selling children’s costumes that catch fire within seconds.
The National Fire Protection Association offers the following advice when choosing a costume:-
- Stay away from billowing or long trailing fabric.
- If you are making your own costume, choose material that won’t easily ignite if it comes into contact with heat or flame.
- If your child is wearing a mask, make sure the eye holes are large enough so they can see out.
- Provide children with flashlights to carry for lighting or glow sticks as part of their costume.
- Dried flowers, cornstalks and crepe paper are highly flammable. Keep these and other decorations well away from all open flames and heat sources, including light bulbs and heaters.
- It is safest to use a flashlight or battery-operated candles in a jack-o-lantern. If you use a real candle, use extreme caution. Make sure children are watched at all times when candles are lit. When lighting candles inside jack-o-lanterns, use long fireplace-style matches or a utility lighter. Be sure to place lit pumpkins well away from anything that can burn and far enough out of way of trick-or-treaters, doorsteps, walkways and yards.
- Remember to keep exits clear of decorations, so nothing blocks escape routes.
- Tell children to stay away from open flames. Be sure they know how to stop, drop and roll if their clothing catches fire. (Have them practice stopping immediately, dropping to the ground, covering their face with hands, and rolling over and over to put the flames out.)
- Use flashlights as alternatives to candles or torch lights when decorating walkways and yards. They are much safer for trick-or-treaters, whose costumes may brush against the lighting.
- If your children are going to Halloween parties at others’ homes, have them look for ways out of the home and plan how they would get out in an emergency.
Information courtesy of National Fire Protection Association