Steve McCabe MP joins campaigners to highlight the fire risk of some children’s fancy dress costumes this Halloween

Steve McCabe MP for Birmingham Selly Oak, joined campaigners in Parliament to raise awareness of the potential risks of some children’s fancy dress costumes this Halloween.

The event was organised by campaigners in response to the plight of TV presenter Claudia Winkleman’s daughter, Matilda, who was seriously burned wearing a flammable witches’ outfit while trick or treating last year. Currently, the law classes fancy dress costumes as toys rather than clothes meaning that they undergo far less rigorous safety tests. However Sainsbury’s and other supermarkets have introduced more stringent testing following a campaign by Claudia and other concerned parents.

Steve said:

 “Today’s event has been very informative and I will certainly be taking the message about the dangers of some of these fancy dress outfits back to my own constituents.  Claudia and the other campaigners I’ve met today have done a fantastic job in raising awareness of a potential risk which many parents have probably never considered. It’s also encouraging to see companies like Sainsbury’s introduce higher safety standards for the costumes they will be selling this year and I hope other retailers will do the same. “

John Carolan, Head of non-food buying at Sainsbury’s, said:

“The safety of children is our top priority, and this event was a great opportunity to highlight the importance of testing children’s dress-up clothing to the most rigorous standards available. We welcome the calls to make the legal requirements even tougher, as this will help safeguard our children.  We’re also encouraging customers to minimise risks by using our LED tea lights instead of candles when children are around.”

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