Thanks to federal apparel flammability standards, parents shouldn't have to worry about a costume quickly going up in flames if a child gets too close to a candlelit jack-o'-lantern. But do all costumes comply?
The Good Housekeeping Research Institute tested 11 children's Halloween costumes for flammability. The GHRI Textiles Lab focused on styles made with iridescent fabric or glued-on sparkles, because in previous investigations those had proved riskiest.
Product That Failed Our Tests:
Sparkle Pixie from the Velvet Collection by Easter Unlimited Inc. ($40, pictured)
Products That Performed Poorly on Our Tests:
- Disney Princess Cinderella by Disguise Inc. ($50)
- Elegant Witch by Rubies ($25)
Products That Passed Our Tests:
- Barbie My Wedding Day by Disguise Inc. ($44)
- Fairytale Princess by Rubies ($25)
- Fairy Witch Velvet Collection by Easter Unlimited Inc. ($45)
- Renaissance Damsel by Foreign Novelties Inc. ($35)
- Disney Cinderella Ballerina by Disguise Inc. ($50)
- Winter Contessa by Disguise Inc. ($35)
- Davey Jones by Disguise Inc. ($80)
- Iron Man by Disguise Inc. ($35)
Related: Watch Our Behind-the-Scenes Video of The Flammability Testing
5 Halloween Costume Safety Tips:
1. Steer clear of cotton, linen, jute, and acetate in costumes (even homemade ones), because these fabrics are more highly flammable.
2. When creating a homemade costume, stick with polyester, wool, feathers, and fabrics that are smooth or have a slightly raised surface, such as crushed velvet. (However, plusher fabrics such as regular velvet have higher fibers and therefore can be more flammable.)
3. Look out for dangling sleeves or large capes. Besides having a tendency to graze near a flame more easily, they also can be a tripping hazard.
4. Consider accessories carefully. Skip those that are made with lots of sparkles and glitter. The best choices are those that are handheld or on the head. Scarves or boas that drape over and around the neck aren't a good idea, as they can dangle into a flame and/or pose a choking risk.
5. A costume's price isn't an indication that it will or won't be a flammability risk.
Related: More Ways to Keep Kids Safe on Halloween
What is your child dressing up as for Halloween this year?
More from Good Housekeeping:
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- Test Your Halloween Candy Calorie IQ
- Vote for Your Favorite Halloween Pet Costumes
- No-Carve Pumpkin Decorating
- For More Tips & Tricks You Can Count On: Subscribe to Good Housekeeping & Save!
Reprinted with permission of Hearst Communications, Inc.