halloween children fancy dress costumes

Halloween fancy dress safety standards have been stepped up after a Watchdog exposé of the fire risk of such products, supermarkets have assured parents.

The BBC documentary was prompted by the severe burns suffered by the eight-year-old daughter of TV presenter Claudia Winkleman last October, when her witch’s outfit caught fire.

Fancy dress was the second most valuable product type for retailers after confectionery last Halloween, with sales surging 25% to £11m [IRI 4 w/e 1 November 2014]. The major supermarkets sold 6.4 million costumes during this period.

“It will be interesting to see how people feel about dressing up this year,” said Asda CEO Andy Clarke. “They will go to trusted retailers.”

By law, fancy dress needs only meet toy fire safety standards. Asda, Tesco and Aldi said all costumes sold by them this year would apply children’s nightwear fire safety standards, which are much stricter.

You can see our full report here.