A warning has gone out about the dangers of some costumes and toys sold ahead of Halloween at the end of the month.

Nottingham City Council’s Trading Standards department has issued advice to make sure people are aware of how to stay safe while having fun.

This includes:

  • Buy toys and costumes from reputable traders, and avoid any which are much cheaper than expected
  • Look for a CE or UKCA mark. If there isn’t one, it’s not intended for children
  • Check that costumes and masks are fire-retardant
  • Consider the suitability of any toy for a child’s age and ability – something fun for an eight-year-old might pose risks to a toddler
  • Be alert for hazards such as sharp points and edges, and small parts that might come loose and become a choking hazard
  • Do not use flammable materials to make homemade costumes and be extra careful about using bin bags as capes
  • All Halloween costumes, whether homemade or shop-bought, should be kept away from candles and naked flames
  • It is far safer to use LED candles rather than real candles in pumpkins and as part of displays
  • Keep children away from naked flames and don’t let them carry lit candles or lanterns with real candles in them.

Councillor Neghat Khan, Portfolio Holder for Neighbourhoods, Safety and Inclusion at Nottingham City Council, said: “Halloween should be a time of devilish fun and festivity – for both adults and children. Costumes and treats are all part of the excitement but safety should still be a priority. 

“Toy-related injuries can often be prevented and it’s really important for parents to take the time to read labels on Halloween costumes and accessories carefully and choose toys that are appropriate for the age of the child.”

Anyone concerned about the safety of a fancy dress costume purchased should report the issue to Trading Standards, via the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 0808 223 1133.