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Scare safe this Halloween

Rachael McGurk

Head of Technical – Womenswear, Kidswear & Essentials
Hatfield, UK

27 Oct 2015

For many customers Halloween is a really exciting time of year, especially for the little ones – pumpkin carving, trick-or-treating, apple bobbing and of course dressing up.

For many customers Halloween is a really exciting time of year, especially for the little ones – pumpkin carving, trick-or-treating, apple bobbing and of course dressing up.

But events last year reminded all of us why it’s so important for kids to stay safe at Halloween. Claudia Winkleman has done an incredible amount to highlight the safety of children’s dressing-up costumes since her daughter was seriously injured last year and we want to ensure we’re doing all we can to make our children’s costumes as safe as possible.

As Head of Technical for Children’s Clothing at Tesco (F&F) it’s my job to make sure we listen to our customers’ concerns and act upon them.

There are a number of preventative measures we can all take in our own homes including ensuring children are never near naked flames. We would also advise parents to purchase an LED alternative to light the pumpkin instead of using tea lights.

We all know accidents can happen though so we’ve done a lot of work over the last year with our suppliers and factories to make sure our costumes are safer than ever.

We’ve re-tested all our dressing up costumes to ensure they meet both the EN71 toy flammability standard and the tougher children’s nightwear test BS5722 – we will never sell costumes that don’t meet both of these standards. That includes costumes sold by 3rd party sellers on our website. We’ve also reviewed which fabrics perform better in both the flammability tests and we’ll only be using these fabrics in new designs. We’ve reviewed the styling of all our costumes to make sure they don’t include any long floating fabrics that trail on the floor – these can be a hazard.

Of course this is an industry wide discussion and we’re working with the British Retail Consortium to standardise costume labelling across all retailers so that we can give one consistent message to customers. We’re also working with them to develop a more appropriate flammability test method that combines testing the whole garment with more stringent requirements.

"No flame is a safe flame – no matter what steps we take to make our products safe – so let’s all look out for each other."

Perhaps most important of all this Halloween is making sure we all take care and remain vigilant. No flame is a safe flame – no matter what steps we take to make our products safe – so let’s all look out for each other.

There’s nothing more important to us than the safety of the products we sell and I want to assure all our customers that this will remain an important focus for our team.

To find out more about how to scare safe this Halloween visit http://www.tesco.com/halloween/

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