The safety of children’s Halloween costumes is a key concern for parents, chiefly around flammability.
Recently, Mark Gardiner, a product safety expert with the Chartered Trading Standards Institute, told The Huffington Post UK they are “especially concerned” about Halloween costumes because many are poor quality and they are popular at a time of year when people tend to use more candles.
In advance of Halloween, Good Housekeeping conducted an investigation into the safety of children’s costumes of high street retailers.
Now they have revealed their latest findings in a bid to get retailers to employ stricter standards.
They said: “Currently, children’s costumes are classified as toys by EU rules. Some retailers have acknowledged these aren’t stringent enough on flammability and voluntarily test their costumes to nightwear standards (known as BS5722) – which are the toughest flammability regulations that currently exist.”
Good Housekeeping tested six costumes from high street retailers Wilko, Aldi, George from Asda, TU from Sainsbury’s, F&F from Tesco, John Lewis, TK Maxx, and Marks & Spencer to see how they fared when evaluated to the BS5722 standard, which is the British Standard used for nightwear and dressing gowns.
“To do this, we sent the costumes to a dedicated flammability testing facility that is both UKAS (United Kingdom Accreditation Service) and ISO (International Organization for Standardisation) accredited.
”To test products for flammability multiple samples, which have been washed, dried and conditioned in a temperature-controlled room, are cut from the garment (sized 670 x 170mm) and tested, including all threads, trimming and decorations.
“These are tested on a machine called a ‘Rhoburn’. It has a vertical frame, with horizontal trip threads (which have a specified yarn count and must be cotton) set at 300mm and at 600mm.
“The samples are pinned to the frame and held over a small gas flame that is roughly equivalent to a match flame. For…