Commissioner's blog: Get into the Halloween spirit safely
With ghoulish costumes, sweet treats galore and frightfully fun decorations, Halloween has become increasingly popular in Australia over the last decade.
So if you’re planning some Halloween fun with your family on 31 October, there are some things you can do to prevent it turning into Halloween hell.
If you want to add some extra ghoul to your family’s costumes with fake tattoos, face paint, makeup or fake blood, check they come with ingredients labels and keep them handy throughout the night. In case someone in your group has an allergic reaction to a product, having a list of ingredients available can save doctors vital time when determining how to treat them.
Wearing black or other dark coloured costumes for Halloween means you or your children could be hard to see in the dark. To ensure drivers and other trick-or-treaters can see you, carry a torch and consider adding glow sticks or a reflective strip to your costumes.
It goes without saying that people would want their costumes to have a low risk of catching fire, especially with jack-o-lanterns out in full force. The best way to ensure costumes, wigs and other accessories are a low fire risk is to look for labels that state the product is ‘flame resistant’ or ‘fire resistant’.
Avoid products that carry warnings such as ‘keep away from flame’ or ‘Warning! Keep away from fire'. Also avoid loose fitting costumes, particularly if you or your children will be around candles.
When buying light up or musical Halloween novelties that are powered by button batteries, you should check the battery compartment is secured with a screw or similar fastener to prevent children gaining access to the battery.
The statistics on button batteries aren’t pretty, with one child a month sustaining a serious injury from swallowing or inserting button batteries. Products that comply with mandatory standards designed to keep children safe will have secure battery compartments and safety labelling.
More information, including a list of product recalls, is available online at www.productsafety.gov.au.
Commissioner for Consumer Protection
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