Flammable Halloween Costumes Still a Risk
October 23, 2018 | Finz & Finz, P.C.
For decades consumer advocates have sounded the alarms regarding flammable Halloween costumes, yet the risk to children remains much the same as it was twenty or thirty years ago. Many children’s costumes are still fashioned from cheap flammable materials, including plastics that can melt to the child’s skin if ignited.
Consumer advocates had much more success dealing with children’s pajamas. After recognizing that loose fitting PJs made of certain materials posed risks of both catching fire or smothering a child, most companies moved to tighter fitting clothes made of cotton or treated their pajamas with chemicals developed to reduce the risk of catching fire. Yet these changes have not carried over to Halloween costumes.
Determining whether or not a costume is flammable can be difficult for a parent, as knowing the likelihood of any given material catching fire is all but impossible. The only way a parent can truly test a costume is to attempt to set it alight themselves, an impractical and expensive option.
The highly-flammable nature of many costumes is a dangerous combination with many Halloween decorations. Candles and other open flames are common in some areas, as are electrically powered decorations that may be plugged into fraying cords. Children on Halloween may be exposed to dozens of potential conflagrations. Even if a fire does not occur, plastic costumes can melt if exposed to enough heat, significantly injuring a child.
If your child has been injured in a fire on Halloween, whether it be a property fire caused by unsafe decorations or their costume catching fire, consider reaching out to an experienced attorney. Costume companies will continue to release unsafe products until they are held accountable for their actions, and using the legal system to apply pressure for necessary safety changes is a good first step in protecting children.
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