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Posted on 19th May 2015
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Clown Logo of Karnival Costumes your Halloween specialists for Fancy Dress and Costume Accessories
We make no apology for the fact that this blog has no jokes and no gags as it covers a very important topic which was raised by the horrific accident that happened last Halloween.  Every caring parent - and that must be all of us - should take time to read it through... 
Recently, the important issue of the safety of Children’s Fancy Dress Costumes has come back into the spotlight.  At Karnival Costumes, like all parents and grandparents, we take safety very seriously and we welcome ANY and ALL initiatives aimed at improving the safety and well being of children as they explore the world through play activities.
We feel, however that we must offer some defense of our suppliers as we are aware that they invest heavily and work hard to ensure that their fancy dress costumes are manufactured and tested to ensure compliance with existing European regulations as they apply to children’s costumes. We’ve put together these general advisory notes from materials that our suppliers have made available and freely available material from Government and Safety Testing organisations.
Under EU regulations, and has correctly been highlighted in the press, children’s fancy dress costumes and dress up items are actually defined as Toys. The classification and regulations are applied as there is an implied hazard due to the “play factor” involved whilst wearing dress-up. This ensures that they are subject to tighter controls on the flammability than most items of children’s wear.
As it stands today, Children's fancy dress costumes must comply with stringent flammability requirements that do not apply, other than to the exception of some sleepwear (night dresses and dressing gowns), to children’s clothing. The fact is that there are very few legal requirements dealing with the flammability of everyday children's clothing. Many clothing items can catch fire and burn when exposed to naked flames and some manufacturers only voluntarily add "keep away from fire" warnings.  http://www.newcastle.gov.uk/business/trading-standards/product-safety/guidance-on-the-safety-of-childrens-clothing
Whilst the situation for fancy dress costumes and dress up may not be perfect at the moment, all CE marked children's costumes and dress up is regulated and it must comply with flammability requirements associated with standard EN 71 part 2.
All of our children's costumes and accessories are tested by their respective manufacturers to make sure they comply with the EN 71 set of standards. Each manufacturer will use their own nominated safety testing bureau but the standard and rigorous nature of the testing will be consistent across them all.  More information about the application of EN 71 can be found by following this link: http://www.bsieducation.org/Education/downloads/leaflets/ISC_Toys.pdf
EN 71 is a Europe-wide standard for toy safety and is in 12 parts. Part 2 specifically deals with the flammability potential of a toy (including fancy dress costumes and dress up items).  To perform the test a 40mm naked flame (similar to a flame from a match or a candle) is applied to samples of the component materials under controlled conditions. Depending on the type of material where it appears on the costume and its surface area, either the flame spread rate or its self-extinguishing properties are measured against the requirements set-out in the standard.
Specifically with regards to children's fancy dress costumes and capes the official guidance is as follows: Toy disguise costumes and toys intended to be worn by a child in play. The rate of spread of flame of the test sample shall not exceed 30 mm or the test sample shall self-extinguish. If the rate of spread of flame is between 10 mm/sec and 30 mm/sec, the appropriate part(s) of the toy and the packaging shall be permanently marked with the following warning: “Warning. Keep away from fire”.
Most manufacturers, regardless of the actual burn rate achieved within the regulatory limits, will take the precaution to label their children’s costumes with the fire warning: "Warning. Keep away from fire". Furthermore, all Toys that are sold within the European Union are required to bear the CE mark. This is the manufacturer's declaration that the product meets the European Toy Safety Directive (2009/48/EC), and has undergone a variety of product tests to ensure that it is safe for use.
Our advice has to be that you do not buy cheap dress-up costumes from any unrecognisable source and do not trust counterfeit goods as it’s extremely unlikely that these will have had to undergo the processes as listed above. Additionally, always check that the label or packaging contains the manufacturers name, address, postcode or phone number and a registered trademark. Ensure the product is accompanied by instructions and safety information. CE markings can be faked by counterfeiters, check the logo is correct, sometimes the entirely the wrong logo is used and this can be checked as the middle line of the E as it should be shorter than in other parts.
From our side, we will never attempt to hide the fancy dress costume brand nor the manufacturer’s item or product number from you. Indeed these are pretty much evident from our own code numbering system.  As a responsible reseller of thousands of product lines with thousands of satisfied customers, we promise that we do not, nor will we, import items that have not been properly and fully tested to European regulatory standards.  And should you have any concerns about a product when you receive it, you can either ring us to discuss your doubts or simply return it to us under our no quibble money back guarantee.
Other sellers may not be as vigilant about safety as we are as they look to cut corners in-order to save cost and this may be an occasion where you may consider that there is some value in paying a little more for your children’s products.
Lastly, whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of information, no responsibility, legal or otherwise, is accepted for any errors, omissions or inaccuracies.
Direct Link Back to all Adult Fancy Dress Costumes at Karnival Costumes Direct Link back to all Childrens Fancy Dress Costumes at Karnival Costumes Direct Link to Halloween Fancy Dress Costumes, Props, Decorations and Party Goods at Karnival Costumes


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