Lancaster MP warns of fire risks to children’s Halloween costumes

Lancaster MP Cat Smith is raising awareness of the potential fire risks of children's fancy dress costumes.
Lancaster MP Cat Smith is raising awareness of the potential fire risks of children's fancy dress costumes.

Lancaster and Fleetwood MP Cat Smith MP has highlighted the potential fire risks of children’s fancy dress costumes.

“I know that children love dressing up, particularly over the Halloween period and this is why I am so keen to raise awareness of the dangers of open flames and fancy dress,” said Ms Smith.

The law classes fancy dress costumes as toys rather than clothes meaning that they undergo far less rigorous safety tests.

But some supermarkets have introduced more stringent testing following a campaign by the host of BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing, Claudia Winkleman, whose daughter, eight-year-old Mathilda, was seriously burned wearing a witches’ outfit while trick or treating.

Ms Smith said: “I’m delighted that last year funding was made available for Trading Standards to conduct spot checks on hundreds of retailers to ensure that costumes meet safety standards.

“I applaud the supermarkets who have introduced more stringent safety checks and would now call on others to follow suit.

“Ultimately, we need to ensure all manufacturers have to comply with much more stringent safety tests and I am campaigning for this. However, with Halloween, the key thing now is to spread the message far and wide to parents about these dangers, and I hope that my awareness event will help to do that.”