Intertek & RoSPA reveal the tricks to keep Halloween a treat instead of a tragedy

27/10/2014

Halloween is an increasingly popular date in the calendar when children (and adults) enjoy dressing up in ghoulish costumes and visiting friends and family, hopefully sharing treats rather than tricks. Fake blood and bandages are everywhere!

But quality solutions provider Intertek has teamed up with RoSPA to warn that those bloody bandages could be real if people aren’t aware of the dangers of ill-fitting costumes, untested masks, unattended pumpkin candles and market stall accessories when anywhere near naked flames.

Accident statistics from last year show that 138 people in England were admitted to hospital as a result of their clothing either igniting or melting*. Also last year, accidental candle fires in homes resulted in 401 injuries and 6 deaths across Great Britain**.

All children’s Halloween costumes, masks and wigs must carry a CE mark, which means they comply with the European Toy Safety Directive*** and should they catch alight, the rate of burning is slow. Of course, it is parents too, not just children who enjoy Halloween. Although it is not mandatory for adults’ costumes to comply with the Toy Safety Directive, many products will apply the same CE mark.

Rob van Dorp, chief executive UK & Eire for Intertek, who test, inspect and certify millions of products every year, said: “Halloween trick and treating gets more popular year by year. At Intertek we want people to know that there are standards in place to protect the quality and safety of clothing – people need to check and make sure the products they buy comply.”

Sheila Merrill, public health adviser at RoSPA (the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents), said: “We want those marking Halloween to have a good time, and taking a few minutes to think about safety in advance, particularly about how to keep candles and costumes safe, could save an unexpected and unwanted trip to A&E.”

To make sure your Halloween is worry-free, Intertek and RoSPA advise:

1. Buy your costumes from a reputable retailer: well-fitted costumes with a CE mark will drastically reduce chances of severe burns or slips and trips.

2. Be aware that Halloween costumes are usually dark. Attaching a reflective strip will allow a costume to be seen by drivers in the dark.

3. Each child and adult should have their own light source. A flashlight or glow stick will help deter trips and falls over uneven surfaces, curbs and pavements.

4. Don’t get too close to sources of ignition, including cigarettes!

5. Don’t let young children carry pumpkins with lit candles. Be aware of molten, liquid wax in candles. Tealights especially do not have large wax reservoirs and their metal casing can become very hot.

6.Remember to extinguish all candles if they are to be left unattended.

7. Follow the Firework Code.

8. Remove any Halloween make-up or fake blood immediately if itching occurs. It could be the first indication of an allergic reaction to something within the cosmetic.

9. Remind children of how to cross roads safely before leaving home.

10. Accompany your children when they go trick or treating.

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