Parents across the country will be buying their children fancy dress costumes for Halloween – but how safe are they? Last October, Claudia Winkleman's eight-year-old daughter suffered serious burns when her witches outfit caught fire after brushing against a candle. Sadly, it wasn't an isolated incident. Figures show that 73 adults and 21 children in England were admitted to hospital as a result of their clothing either igniting or melting during 2014.
Business Secretary Sajid Javid, who granted funding for the spot checks, said: "My immediate concern as a father and a minister is that children wearing these fancy dress costumes are safe. It is unacceptable for any costumes to be sold that do not comply with safety standards. Parents should feel confident that any fancy dress they buy meets required standards."
Trading Standards are now carrying out tests to ensure costumes meet safety standards. Hundreds of retailers could face spot checks to ensure the flammability of outfits meets European safety laws. At the same time, current safety standards are being assessed to decide if they are adequate.
The British Standards Institute is also investigating whether Halloween costumes should be classed as toys, instead of clothing.
Strictly Come Dancing's Claudia Winkleman told BBC News: "We're extremely happy the government are taking action on this and we're so grateful to the supermarkets who are selling safer costumes."
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