Halloween costume law and advice for businesses

What does the law say about children's toy dress-up costumes?

As a result of the increased risk to children, mandatory regulations are in place to control the fire performance of the fabrics used in nightwear and toys, along with compulsory labelling to make the consumer more aware of the dangers:

  • The Nightwear (Safety) Regulations 1985
  • The Toy Safety Directive 2009/48/EC / Toy Safety Regulations 2011

However, considering the potential risk and vulnerability of children, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) has worked with the British Standards Technical Committee to approach CEN with a view to reviewing the appropriateness of the existing test standard EN 71-2. While the development of a revised European standard will necessarily take time, supported by RoSPA the BRC and its members have introduced two voluntary codes of practice to enhance the safety of children's dress-up clothing:

  1. Additional Flammability Labelling of Children's Dress-up
  2. Method of Test for the Flammability Safety of Children's Dress-up

Advice for businesses selling children's toy dress-up and Halloween costumes

If you are currently a retailer of children's toy dress-up and Halloween costumes, you should ensure that your products are of a high quality, and our advice is to comply with the new codes of practice (see above). Additionally, you may want to provide safety advice to your customers by using the safety leaflets provided in the Additional Flammability Labelling of Children's Dress-up Code of Practice.


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