Fancy Dress Safety

Suffolk Trading Standards are providing simple reminders to make sure that you 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 and Suffolk Trading Standards would like to ensure that it is safe and enjoyable and asks consumers to take a few simple measures to avoid the use of hazardous accessories:

  • 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.
  • Look for the CE European Safety Mark when purchasing costumes and associated items. Use well established shops to ensure that the products come from reputable suppliers – avoid purchasing items which do not carry the mark.
  • 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.

In recent years, Trading Standards services have uncovered novelty torches that burn hands, flammable spider webs and face paints containing heavy metals such as lead.

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.

Many Trading Standards Services across the UK carry out similar tests each year and together their work helps ensure that potentially dangerous products are removed from sale.

About suffolktradingstandards
Suffolk Trading Standards is working towards creating and fair and safe trading environment. By creating empowered consumers, that are armed with the knowledge to stop 'rogue traders'.

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