I saw this on the Disney board I read and thought I would share. PLEASE remember this next October for all those with small children, grandchildren & nieces & nephews!!! Deanna

Good Housekeeping Institute Report on Costumes.


I was reading the Oct. 2001 Good Housekeeping. When I was floored by this true story.

The Scary Truth About Costumes

They aren't as safe as you think. When the Institute tested costumes like these[Disney,Lillian Vernon,Rubie's Costumes{mass merchandisers}The Company Store and Disguise] some QUICKLY caught fire. How to keep YOUR Halloween from going up in FLAMES.

Last Halloween,[Oct. 2000] 3 year old -------- ------- disguised as Princess Ariel from the The Little Mermaid climbed the steps of a neighbor's home in Macon,Georgia,while her parents stood watch 50 yards away. As the door swung open,the little girl stepped back toward the edge of the porch where a candlelite pumpkin was on the floor. The hem of her costume brushed against the flame,and instantly caught fire. "I bolted," recalls --------'s Mother. "But before I could reach her,the whole back of the skirt was engulfed in flames."
The fire raced to --------'s waist, then flared up when it reached the blue netting that dangled from her tiria. The girls nine year old bother and the neighbor quickly smothered the blaze,but not before five inches of --------'s long hair was burned off and several
of her bothers fingers were charred black. "Thank God my son's costume wasn't as flammable,"says Mom. "If it had been,our family would've spent Halloween in the burn unit"

Two more girls[one in Indiana and another in Maryland] wearing the same Princess Ariel costume caught fire that night too. In April 2001,the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commisssion [CPSC]and The Disney Store recalled 54,000 Princess Ariel Little Mermaid outfits.

These tragic incidents led the Good Housekeeping Institute to investigate costume flammability in time for Halloween 2001. The textiles department found potenial dangers in about a THIRD of the products that it tested.
In a counrty with goverment regulations,how can so many costumes be so hazardous?

Stardards are no safeguard

The CPSC requires that all wearing apparel-including costumes-sold in the U.S. be made of fabric that doesn't readily ignite. But the stardards for costumes are more lenient than those for,say childrens sleepwear,which must be able to resist a flame for at least 3 SECONDS before catching fire. In contast,costumes must not burn when exposed to a flame for only 1 second.
"Garments that burn faster than newspaper can meet this standard," says the chairman of the CPSC"[The standard]wasn't designed with childrens costumes in mind and does not safeguard children from hazards with some Halloween costumes." Manufactures are allowed to police themselves,so the honor system prevails. WHATS MORE,DETACHED COSTUME ACCESSORIES-WIGS,FEATHER BOAS,GLOVES LESS THAN 14 INCHES LONG,AND HATS THAT DON'T COVER THE NECK OR FACE-ARE EXEMPT FROM THE STANDARD.

The Institute's test results

In search of safe store-bought costumes,the Institute's textile experts tested 16 favorites,from the perennially popular Sleeping Beauty gown to the trendy Poke'mon Pikachu suit,to determine how rapidly they burned after being exposed to a flame for 1 second.[BECAUSE costumes are often stored and handed down to younger children,we tested models that have been sold in the last two years.{2000 & 2001}]

These Costumes didn't pass our tests:

The Walt Disney Company's SLEEPING BEAUTY[$29.99;The Disney Store catalog]:The shiny fabric on the two year old gown flucked[2000],but the 2001 redisigned costume with a sparkle overskirt passed with flying colors.

The Puppet Workshop's SUGAR PLUM FAIRY[$39.98; Lillian Vernon cataloge]:The overskirt and peplum fabric burned faster than any other costume tested.

Rubie's Costumes PRINCESS BLUE STAR[$27.99;mass merchandisers]:BEWARE of the sparkling net wristbands,collar,sleeves and bib.

The Company Store FAIRY PRINCESS[$26;Company Kids catalog:]A small marabou ornament at the neckline INSTANTLY went up in flames.
Our advice: Trim off the feathers.

Testers also found costumes that were SAFER than federal standards require.
For instance,the POKE'MON PIKACHU suit[$22.59] and BLUES CLUES costume[$14.99]both made by DISGUISE,passed our toughest tests. BUT remove the BLUES CLUES mittens;we found the dark blue printed paws can ignite in less than 5 seconds.]

DISGUISE also sells a SNOW WHITE gown[$39.99]that was safe. All are available at TOY R US,WAL-MART,KMART,TARGET,and PARTY CITY.

I posted this because I know that many of your children use their costumes for dress-up. As a parent of a Dd, I never gave the safety of costumes that much thought,beyond checking for fire resistance. I thought that the Whole costume and all it's pieces were safe. We have used several handed down costumes as well,without being aware of the dangers. We were very lucky.

Why I posted this story;

I wanted everyone to know about the recall.

And to Please ask everyone to Not use candles in pumpkins on Halloween night,tell your families, friends,and nieghbors of the danger to children wearing costumes and that candles are just too dangerous,you only have 1 Second or less to put out a costume!!

It was not my intention to cause harm to any company.

Only to inform Parents about a dangerous situation,you may not be aware of. I know I wasn't!