October 27, 2015

Four out of ten mums fail to check safely regulations on children’s Halloween garments

Ghouls and goblins are the least of mums’ worries on Halloween night according to in-depth piece of research released today by, Ireland’s leading parenting community. The popular online community questioned mums on all aspects of Halloween which revealed fire accidents, sugary sweets and the possible risk of a child experiencing an allergic reaction, are the top three concerns for mums this weekend.

Last year, Ireland’s emergency services experienced a 20% increase in the number of children suffering from minor and serious burns, this figure increases every year. Even though, 69% of mums are aware of the dangers associated with purchasing certain pre-made Halloween costumes – four in ten mums in Ireland still fail to check safety regulations on their children Halloween garments.

Last year, BBC presenter Claudia Winkleman experienced first-hand the dangers of highly flammable materials when her eight year old daughter’s Halloween costume caught fire on Halloween night. Worryingly, it’s not a once off incident, according to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents in the UK, 138 people in England were admitted to hospital in 2013 after their clothing either ignited or melted after catching alight, with sparklers and bonfire sparks the main culprits.

Insights from MummyPages survey on Halloween in Ireland:

• Main concerns for mums this weekend are; fire accidents, sugary snacks and the risk of a child experiencing an allergic reaction.
• 69% of mums are aware of the dangers associated with purchasing certain pre-made Halloween costumes
• 41% of mums fail to check safety regulations on children’s costume garments before purchasing.
• The Cost of Halloween: Mums spend an average of €31 per child on a Halloween costume, €40 on buying goodies and €34 on Halloween decorations.
• After a busy night of ‘trick or treating’ 70% of mums censor their children’s haul of goodies by taking out certain sweets before letting them dig in
• 93% of mums ration the amount of sweets their children eat on Halloween night and in the following days
• 72% of mums end up throwing away some of their children’s Halloween goodie haul
• 40% of mums admit they end up eating the majority of their children’s trick or treat loot
• When buying the Halloween loot, 78% of mums only buy goodies they would happily give to their children, 15% buy cheaper alternatives, 5% buy anything at all last minute while 2% buy nuts and fruit
• The majority (98%) of Irish families will celebrate Halloween this year
• 44% of mums will host a Halloween party
• Who dresses up? The children (44%), All the family (45%), and in 11% of cases even the family pet
• Children’s Halloween costumes: 53% of costumes are a mix of shop bought and homemade pieces, 39% are shop-bought while 8% are homemade
• 20% of mums in Ireland have children with a food allergy or intolerance with almost 1 in 5 experiencing a nut allergy
• 97% of mums want epinephrine pens to be made available in public areas

Another scare factor for mums on Halloween night is the possibility of children experiencing anaphylactic shock. According to MummyPages research one in five mums in Ireland have a child suffering from food allergies and / or intolerances, this figure is increasing steadily every year. The most common food allergies and intolerances with children in Ireland are: Eggs (24%), Milk (22%) and Nuts (19%).

To avoid any nasty surprises, 70% of mums censor their children’s haul of goodies with 72% of mums admitting to disposing of certain snacks or sugary sweets. Interestingly, the majority (93%) of mums ration the amount of sweets their child can have on Halloween night which means more snacks for the 40% of mums who admit to eating the majority of their children’s trick or treat loot.

Commenting is Laura Haugh, Laura is Mum-in-Residence with, Ireland’s leading online parenting community:

“Halloween is the second most popular holiday in Ireland which is why MummyPages is issuing a nationwide warning to mums to watch out for the hidden dangers. Every year, we hear stories of young people and children suffering horrific burns injuries. This year, we are urging mums to check the safety regulations on their children’s Halloween costumes and to avoid highly flammable materials.”

“To protect from injury, mums should ensure their children wear clothes such as woollen tights or jeans under their costume which works as a barrier in case their costume catches alight. If the worst does happen, children should know the ‘stop, drop and roll’ drill which allows the ground to be the means of suffocating a fire and not a person’s hands.”

“With childhood obesity on the rise in Ireland, we are relieved that many of our MummyPages mums are taking steps to ensure that their children to do not over indulge in the sugary treats ever present in their Halloween haul. Parents should also be mindful of the health of their children’s teeth on this festive occasion and ensure that the sweets they receive are age appropriate and they brush well before bedtime.”