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CPSC advising flame-resistant costumes
04
Nov '10
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) wants parents of trick-or-treaters to know that there is nothing scary about preventing Halloween-related injuries. By taking a few simple safety precautions when selecting costumes and Halloween decorations, consumers can prevent burn, fall and laceration injuries.

Parents who make their kids' costumes can send off their little ghosts, goblins and superheroes safely by using inherently flame-resistant fabrics, such as polyester and nylon. These materials will resist burning if exposed to an open flame. When purchasing a costume, look for "Flame Resistant" on the product's tag or packaging

Lighting the night also is made safer when children have no access to open flames. Flameless candles, light sticks and flashlights provide a safe lighting alternative in jack-o'-lanterns and areas where children will have access.

"Uncovering Halloween's hidden dangers is simple with CPSC's safety steps," said CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum. "Thoughtful costume selection, care with candles and careful placement of decorations and lighting will help ensure your Halloween is safe and enjoyable."

In addition to providing safety tips, the CPSC works to keep children and families safe during the holiday celebration by enforcing the Flammable Fabrics Act and recalling hazardous costumes and products at Halloween and throughout the year.

Make this year's holiday a safe one by following these safety tips on costumes, treats and decorations:

Costumes

• When purchasing costumes, masks, beards and wigs, look for flame-resistant fabrics such as nylon or polyester, or look for the label "Flame Resistant." Flame-resistant fabrics will resist burning and should extinguish quickly. To minimize the risk of contact with candles and other fire sources, avoid costumes made with flimsy materials and outfits with big, baggy sleeves, large capes or billowing skirts.
• Purchase or make costumes that are light colored, bright and clearly visible to motorists.
• For greater visibility during dusk and darkness, decorate or trim costumes with reflective tape that will glow in the beam of a car's headlights. Bags or sacks also should be light-colored or decorated with reflective tape. Reflective tape is usually available in hardware, bicycle and sporting goods stores.
• Children should carry flashlights to see and be seen.
• To guard against trips and falls, costumes should fit well and not drag on the ground.
• Children should wear well-fitting, sturdy shoes. Oversized high heels are not a good idea.
• Tie hats and scarves securely to prevent them from slipping over children's eyes and obstructing their vision.
• If your child wears a mask, make sure it fits securely, provides adequate ventilation, and has eye holes large enough to allow full vision.
• Swords, knives and similar costume accessories should be made of soft, flexible material.

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