As we come up to Halloween this October 31st, Yorkshire fire services warn us of the potential danger posed by dressing up.

Fancy dress costumes, in particular, may contain flammable materials which can catch fire easily.

The Child Accident Prevention Trust issues advice on how to keep children safe and prevent accidents, at Halloween and year-round.

Pamela Prentice, a Senior Communications and Engagement Manager for The Child Accident Prevention Trust said : 

“One of the big issues is online marketplaces, the seller can be from anywhere in the world and sometimes the standards are not held to the same standards of that in high street retailers in the UK.”

“With the cost of living, people have to try and save, and it’s the cheap online platforms where nobody’s checking. If you buy a costume and something happens to your child, there is no comeback on the seller.”

The organisation works with ‘trusted voices’, such as nurseries and retailers to get their message out to families.

The British Retail Consortium has introduced stricter fire safety tests for children’s costumes. 

Philip Le Shirley who works for ROSPA ( Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) said: 

 “Buy the right product. Avoid when you are out trick or treating, being near naked flames. You need to be mindful when you are with children.”

“The costumes are also very dark, dark witches and skeleton outfits. When kids get excited to cross the road from one house to the other because they can see  a pumpkin outside there is a definite road safety concern, as cars can’t see them.”

Labels on costumes should signpost: “This garment has undergone additional safety tests for flammability.”

In 2014 Claudia Winkleman’s daughter Matilda had to undergo several operations after her witch costume caught fire.

The television presenter described the accident as ‘life-defining’ to the BBC in 2015.

Years later, the advice remains to teach children to ‘stop, drop and roll’, to help put out flames as quickly as possible.

Police and Fire services in West Yorkshire released a statement early this week, reminding people to celebrate Hallowe’en safely as the emergency services prepare for what is usually one of the busiest nights of the year.