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Council highlights safety message over Hallowe’en costumes

26 October 2017

Parents across the Derry City and Strabane District Council area are being urged to ensure that they purchase all Hallowe’en costumes and accessories intended for children from responsible retailers and to be aware of the potential dangers that such costumes may pose in certain circumstances.  

The Council’s Environmental Health team are urging parents to be extra vigilant when purchasing items for Hallowe’en and to put safety first at all times, when out and about enjoying the festivities.

This issue was brought into the spotlight a number of years ago when TV star Claudia Winkleman revealed how her daughter’s Hallowe’en costume caught fire, after it came into contact with a naked flame.

Seamus Donaghy, Head of Health and Community Well-Being with Derry City and Strabane District Council, urged parents to only buy from reputable traders, to always check the labelling and to be careful not to put children dressed in costumes in close proximity to naked flames, candles or other ignition sources such as fires.

He also said that for additional safety, battery-powered candles and lights should be considered for use.

Seamus Donaghy explained: “If for example, costumes or face-masks intended for children do not meet the European safety standard EN71- part 2 with respect to fire resistance, the consequences can be severe.  We would urge parents and guardians across the Council area to always check the labelling and CE markings on costumes and relevant accessories intended for children.  Even costumes intended for children which meet the relevant safety requirements, need also to be used in a safe way. 

“We would also encourage parents to ensure that costumes are not too long and to take care when using candles – do not carry pumpkins with candles inside, consider using battery-powered candles and lights and make sure that children are always supervised by an adult.”

He added, that anyone who encounters costumes intended for use by children that does not, for example, have the necessary labelling and important CE safety mark, should contact the Council’s Environmental Health Service. 

Seamus Donaghy also offered advice to businesses who are supplying Hallowe’en and children’s dress up costumes and accessories, asking them to take appropriate steps to ensure they are of the necessary quality and are compliant.

For further information please contact Derry City and Strabane District Council’s Environmental Health Service on 028 7125 3253 or email [email protected]  

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