Following action from MP Ann Main, the UK government has announced that regulations will be introduced to require all children’s fancy dress costumes to be flame-retardant. The announcement by Chancellor George Osborne, December 2015, follows decisions already announced by several UK retail chains to require fire-safety for dress costumes in their shops and media coverage of burns suffered by the daughter of Strictly Come Dancing host, Claudia Winkleman, after a Halloween costume brushed against a candle (see pinfa Newsletter 53).
MP Ann Main says that the proposed legislation is needed to improve fire resistance and labelling requirements and that although a multi-billion-pound industry had grown around supplying children’s fancy dress and play costumes: “our children are less protected than if they were wearing nightwear … In the United States, a child’s dress-up garment offers a much higher level of protection: it must not catch fire for at least 3.5 seconds after exposure to a flame.” She quoted the British Retail Consortium, which warned that the currently applicable flammability test EN71-2 was no longer fit for purpose.
“The Prime Minister has been urged to support a bill championed by St Albans MP Anne Main, aimed at preventing children’s clothing from catching alight.” 21/12/2015
“All children’s fancy dress costumes to be flame-retardant”, Toy World Magazine, 11/12/2015