South Ayrshire Council is urging parents to be vigilant this Halloween when buying costumes for their children as the material could be flammable.
Fancy dress outfits for children are considered to be "toys" rather than "costumes", and as such they don't undergo stringent flammability tests. Although there can be a CE mark on labelling or packaging, this is a sign the costume meets safety requirements for toys but does not guarantee the garment is flame retardant.
Campaigners and safety experts are calling for changes to the legislation but in the meantime the Council's Trading Standards team is urging parents to be on their guard.
Councillor Ian Cochrane, Sustainability and the Environment Portfolio Holder for South Ayrshire Council said: "Always check that Halloween costumes have the correct labelling and keep your children away from lit candles, and other open flames. We would also urge parents to consider purchasing battery operated LED lights as a safe and convenient alternative to candles".
Trading Standards Officers will be monitoring local shops and online retailers to make sure any costumes that have failed safety tests are not offered for sale. The Council is also encouraging consumers to get in touch if they are suspicious about costumes they have seen for sale.
South Ayrshire Council Trading Standards can be contacted via the Customer Contact Centre on 0300 123 0900.