CFOA supports Watchdog’s call for action on fancy dress clothing

CFOA President Peter Dartford appeared on BBC Watchdog last night and backed its campaign to change the regulations applied to children’s fancy dress costumes.

This follows last week’s programme which featured Claudia Winkleman being interviewed about her daughter who was injured last year when her fancy dress costume caught fire.

You can see the report on last night’s BBC Watchdog. It starts at approximately 36 minutes. 

Watchdog approached the major supermarkets to see if they were planning to make changes and also asked the government to change regulations.

The prgramme showed how quickly children’s fancy dress costumes – which are currently labelled as toys – can burn if touched by a naked flame, potentially causing serious injury.

CFOA is calling for children’s fancy dress clothing to meet the same safety standards as children’s nightclothes.

In addition, CFOA will be sending a letter to MPs and the government on the issue and will also:

CFOA would like to see the following:

  •  A regulatory change to bring children’s dressing up clothes in line with the regulations for children’s nightwear
  • Reclassify children’s dressing up outfits as clothes and not as toys
  • Raise awareness of the dangers of dressing up clothes, especially around specific events such as Halloween and bonfire night
  • Work with suppliers and manufacturers in how the materials are constructed. For instance, a dress is more likely than trousers to come into contact with a naked flame, therefore needs increased fire resistance
  • Better labelling of fancy dress clothing

According to Peter Dartford, CFOA President: “We strongly believe fancy dress costumes should not be classified as toys; retailers and manufacturers need to recognise this and take more responsibility.

“Hallowe’en and Bonfire Night have become increasingly popular in recent years, which increase the likelihood of garments catching fire, which can be absolutely devastating to children and their families.

“Introducing a change to the regulations and applying the same standards to fancy dress costumes as applies to children’s pyjamas and night dresses would increase the safety of children wearing them.

“However adults still need to take care when children are wearing fancy dress clothing and, as much as possible, ensure youngsters are not near naked flames.

“CFOA will be contacting MPs and the government to call for a change in the regulations. In addition, we would like to see supermarkets and manufacturers take a lead on this and apply the same standards to these items as they have to by law to children’s pyjamas and nightdresses.”


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