26 September 2023

Halloween draws a devil of advice

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Commissioner for Consumer Protection, Gary Newcombe has urged Halloween ghouls to deliver their tricks-or-treats with care and in a safe manner.

“If you’re planning some Halloween fun on Sunday (31 October), there are some things you can do to prevent it turning into Halloween hell,” Mr Newcombe said.

“If you want to add some extra ghoul to your family’s costumes with fake tattoos, face paint, make-up or fake blood, check they come with ingredients labels and keep them handy throughout the night,” he said.

Mr Newcombe said in case someone had an allergic reaction to a product, having a list of ingredients available could 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,” he said.

“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’.”

The Commissioner said this meant avoiding products that carried warnings such as ‘keep away from flame’ or ‘warning — keep away from fire’.

Mr Newcombe said loose-fitting costumes should also be avoided, especially if carrying candles was planned.

“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,” he said.

“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.” Mr Newcombe said.

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