Posted on Tuesday 29th October 2019
Val Wickett, Staffordshire Trading Standards, Cllr Gill Heath and Tony Shore Staffordshire Trading Standards
Staffordshire families can have a safe and enjoyable Halloween by following a few simple tips, the county’s communities leader has said.
Advice includes making sure adults accompany younger children when out and about, ensuring Halloween costumes and masks are safe and flame resistant, and being careful if using candles and sparklers.
People are also being reminded to be considerate to those who don’t want to take part in any celebrations such as ‘trick or treat’ like older residents or vulnerable people.
Gill Heath, Cabinet Member responsible for Trading Standards at Staffordshire County Council said:
“We want everyone to have a safe and enjoyable time at Halloween and we’ve got some very simple advice to help families do this.
“We would always advise people to buy their Halloween costumes from reputable traders and check they have the safety mark on them and are flame resistant. It is also recommended that children’s costumes are not loose and don’t have trailing fabric which could cause a hazard or catch fire.
“Again, people buying face paints or make-up should again only buy from reputable shops and check the packaging displays product ingredients. Parents may also want to consider using torches and battery-operated lanterns too rather than candles which are not as safe.
“And finally, young children should always be accompanied by an adult when out and about, particularly as Halloween falls in the first week of darker evenings and around the time when the clocks go back.”
Some general safety tips for staying safe this Halloween:
Only buy costumes from reputable traders: When picking out your child's costume always look for the label "flame-resistant" and make sure there is a visible CE mark. This time of year is when children are more likely to be near candles, lanterns, and other decorative flames which could be dangerous. It’s also important to note that costumes that are made of one single type of material will often catch fire more slowly than those that are made out of lots of different materials. Polyester and nylon are also both flame-resistant materials.
Make sure the costume fits: Costumes that do not fit properly can be a hazard. Whether they are flimsy, too big, or that drag on the ground they could be a tripping hazard. They could also get caught up in Halloween candles. Capes are a popular Halloween costume accessory too and can also cause these issues, so make sure it’s not too long. Your child will be a lot happier if they’re more comfortable in their costume!
Stand out and stay visible: A lot of Halloween costumes involve darker colours, so wherever possible choose bright and light-coloured costumes and clothing. Or, if you want the costume to be as authentic as possible, give children a glow stick to carry, and buy reflective tape and attach it to your child’s costume when out trick-or-treating. This will ensure that motorists can see your child - and that you can keep an eye on them!
Read the label on face paints: If you are buying face paints which are marketed at children, always look for a CE mark and always check the packaging displays clear ingredients in English. And remember that the words 'non-toxic' doesn’t always mean it will be safe for your child’s skin. Do an allergy test on a small patch of skin before using on your child’s face. Also make sure you remove any costume makeup before bedroom to prevent possible skin irritation.
Make sure accessories and props are safe: Swords, axes, wands and other costume accessories should be short, soft, and flexible. If you think your child would be hurt if they fell on their accessory, be it a wand or a sword, then do not give them it.
Always look for a visible CE mark when purchasing. More advice on staying safe over Halloween is available at https://www.staffordshire.gov.uk/beaware/halloween/home.aspx