Parents are being urged to think safety first when buying fancy dress Hallowe'en costumes for their children.
As many youngsters start gearing up for Hallowe'en parties or a night of trick or treating, East Riding of Yorkshire Council's trading standards officers are warning of the fire risk some costumes could pose if they don't meet the correct safety standards.
The dangers of costumes catching fire have hit the headlines in recent years when the daughter of TV presenter Claudia Winkleman suffered serious burns when her witches outfit was set on fire by a tealight in a lantern.
Now, in a bid to keep children safe while having fun, trading standards officers are urging anyone buying fancy dress costumes to take a few minutes to check the packaging to ensure the outfit meets the correct safety standards.
People should be looking for:
• a CE mark – this is a declaration by the manufacturer that the toy is safe
• the name and address of the manufacturer and/or importer
• type, batch serial or model number
• age warnings/restrictions
Councillor Shaun Horton, portfolio holder for community involvement at East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: "Some Halloween costumes that haven't been bought at a reputable outlet and don't have the correct safety labels on can go up in flames within seconds putting a child's life in danger.
"We want Hallowe'en to be memorable for all the right reasons and for those going to parties and trick or treating in their favourite costumes with their pumpkin lanterns; we want them to be safe.
"I would urge anyone buying a fancy dress costume to take just a few moments to check the labels on the package.
"If the manufacturer has not complied with the labelling requirements people need to ask themselves if they've complied with the safety requirements."
"It's just not worth the risk."
It's not just the fire hazard parents should be aware of but if the costume includes cords or small items, such as beads, as they could pose a choking hazard.
Colin Briggs, trading standards manager at East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: "The correct and complete labelling of all fancy dress costumes is an important indication of a safe product important.
"People should pay attention if there are any age restrictions as they are there for a reason to prevent potential hazards such as choking."