Keeping Kids Safe at Halloween

We know that Halloween celebrates the ghoulies, ghosties, witches and zombies we’re supposed to be scared of, but there are also real dangers at this time of year, and they’ve been highlighted by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, RoSPA, in a bid to make sure we stay safe and avoid hazardous costumes this Halloween.

Halloween can be fun when you stay safe and avoid hazardous products, that’s the message from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) ahead of the October 31st. 

The warning comes after several Halloween costumes have been recalled over safety fears relating to serious chemical and fire risks[1] and flagged by consumer champions Which?.

When purchasing a costume, RoSPA advises:

Look for the appropriate safety marks

In England, Scotland and Wales only buy costumes or toys which carry UKCA or CE marks. In the case of Northern Ireland look for the UKNI symbol along with the UKCA or CE mark. 

All parts of a Halloween costume, including wigs and face masks, should be flame-retardant in accordance with EN71 part 2 – the safety standard for flammability of toys.  

Additionally, items sold in the UK by a member of the British Retail Consortium (BRC) are likely to have been made to a higher standard of fire safety and labelled with the words ‘This garment has undergone additional safety testing for flammability.’ 

Beware when purchasing from unknown brands

Unknown brands or brands you can only find online may not meet the strict regulations around costume and toy safety. This could put you or your child at greater fire risk, or at risk from dangerous chemicals. Therefore, we always advise you only purchase products from known brands. 

Keep away from naked flames

As with all clothing, Halloween and fancy-dress outfits should always be kept away from fire, lit candles and all other naked flames. RoSPA advises not to have lit candles as part of Halloween celebrations, and consideration can be given to using battery-operated candles instead of real ones.

Be safe, be seen

Most Halloween costumes are dark, which can pose a risk to children when out and enjoying the festivities. If you can, provide them with a torch and add something reflective to their outfit so they can be seen by vehicles. For maximum safety, children should always be accompanied by an adult.

Phil Le Shirley, Public Safety Advisor at RoSPA, said:

“Halloween can be an exciting time for children, and we want to ensure everyone can enjoy the time safely and without any accidents. 

“That’s why when it comes to dressing up, we recommend checking a Halloween costume or toy for the appropriate safety marks such as a UKCA or CE mark in England, Scotland and Wales or the UKNI symbol with the UKCA or CE mark in Northern Ireland.

“We also recognise that the darker nights reduce visibility, so advise children out trick or treating carry a torch and piece of reflective clothing to ensure they remain seen and stay safe – and always keep away from naked flames.” 

See also: Avoiding ‘Shocking’ Situations While Working With Electricity

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