Party-goers warned on costume risk
Revellers and parents have been warned about the dangers of ill-fitting and unsafe costumes as Bonfire Night and the Christmas party season get under way.
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) and product inspector Intertek urged consumers to check to make sure clothing, including costumes, comply with safety CE marks.
Intertek said all children's costumes including masks and wigs must carry a CE mark, which means they comply with the European Toy Safety Directive and if they catch fire, the rate of burning is slow.
The warnings come as Strictly Come Dancing host Claudia Winkleman urged people to take care while celebrating Bonfire Night after her eight-year-old daughter was burned while out celebrating Halloween.
Matilda is thought to have been out trick-or-treating in Halloween costume on Friday night when the accident occurred as she came into contact with flames from a candle.
RoSPA said statistics from last year showed that 138 people in England were admitted to hospital as a result of their clothing either igniting or melting, while accidental candle fires in homes resulted in 401 injuries and six deaths across Britain.
Data collected across Britain in previous years showed that, on average, around 1,000 people visited A&E for treatment for a firework-related injury in the four weeks around Bonfire Night, with half of the injuries suffered by under-18s.
Intertek chief executive Rob van Dorp said: "We want people to know that there are standards in place to protect the quality and safety of clothing.
"People need to check and make sure the products they buy comply."
Sheila Merrill, public health adviser at safety organisation RoSPA, said: "We want people to have a good time, and taking a few minutes to think about safety in advance, particularly about how to keep candles and costumes safe, could save an unexpected and unwanted trip to A&E."
Both organisations advise consumers to buy well-fitted costumes with a CE mark from a reputable retailer, attach a reflective strip to dark clothing, and provide each child and adult with their own light source, such as a torch or glow stick, to avoid trips and falls.