Safety nightmares uncovered this fright night

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Minister for Women and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence The Honourable Shannon Fentiman

Avoid unwanted frights or serious surprises this Halloween by checking that costumes, decorations and novelties are safe and free of nasties.

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Shannon Fentiman said many children and their families look forward to Halloween each year. It’s a fun and unique celebration, that comes with its own unique safety considerations.

“We want Halloween to be a scary time, not a dangerous time,” Minister Fentiman said.

“Halloween is growing increasingly popular in Australia and the Palaszczuk Government is reminding everyone embracing the tradition to put safety first, especially for the younger ones,” Ms Fentiman said.

“You, or your children, might be getting dressed-up, decorating, or planning to trick-or-treat in your neighbourhood and it’s important you check that everything you’re using is safe and meets Australian safety standards.

“Typically on Halloween, button batteries can be used to power light-up novelty and flashing objects like lanterns, cauldrons, fake candles, wands and masks.

“In Australia one child a month is seriously injured after swallowing or inserting a button battery.

“Check the product and if it does have a button battery, make sure the product has a child-resistant battery compartment and that the battery is secure, this is especially important for little hands. Also ensure the item is robust enough to be dropped without breaking so that the button battery inside can’t come loose.”

The Attorney-General said that dressing-up is all part of the fun, but some common elements to Halloween costumes can also pose a risk, particularly in terms of flammability.

“There are so many ready-made spooky costumes, wigs, masks and accessories out in the market, but you should always check their labels,” she said.

“Go for products labelled as ‘flame resistant’ or ‘fire resistant’ but still take care to keep away from open heat and avoid loose fitting costumes that can easily catch alight – even if you choose garments with a ‘flame resistant’ or ‘fire resistant’ label, they can still be flammable.

“No great Halloween costume is complete without a touch of fake blood, face paint or makeup, or even a temporary tattoo.

“According to the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy, allergies and reactions to ingredients in cosmetics are common – mostly mild but in rare circumstances can cause serious anaphylactic reactions.

“In Australia, it is mandatory that all cosmetic ingredients are clearly labelled. Before applying anything to the face or body, double check the product you’re using is not only labelled, but if any of the ingredients listed are known allergens to you or your child.

“By making a couple of quick checks to costumes and decorations you can make sure everyone gets into the Halloween spirit, while reducing the risk of injury.”

Finally, if your children are out trick or treating, the Attorney-General said that supervision is key.

“Children, especially the littlest of goblins or ghouls, should be appropriately supervised, and that includes making sure you can see them at all times,” Ms Fentiman said.

“Often Halloween costumes are black, which can make it hard to see them in the dark.

“By adding bright colours, glow sticks or a reflective strip to their costume and by carrying a torch, they will be easier to monitor and more visible to drivers and other trick-or-treaters.”

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